When the last attempt by City College of San Francisco hit the back board and caromed off the side of the rim, Las Positas coach James Giacomazzi had feelings of joy and relief.
The halfcourt miss clinched the Hawks' stunning 91-90 win over the reigning state champs in a Coast-North spellbinder last week in San Francisco.
It was a huge triumph for Giacomazzi's program and for the college, an emerging state player on several fronts.
The Hawks, who overcame early foul troubles, were up by about 10 with a minute left in the second half. But the Rams kept surging to make for an exciting finish.
“Obviously, a lot of credit goes to the kids,” Giacomazzi said of the win. “They really worked super-hard, and we have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and their players. A lot of the kids knew each other; played against each other for so long; played on the same high school team in some instances. So, the familiarity was there and it was a battle -- a battle royal.”
He added that he was “very, very happy” with the team’s effort in the face of adversity.
Kameron Johnson, a Granada graduate, had a big game with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Rim-rattling dunker Stokley Chaffee (Amador Valley) had a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards.
Donald Mims, a 7-footer from Central-Sacramento, had 14 points, five blocks and six boards.
Caleb Baskett (Washington-Fremont) had 13 points and four steals. Nick Evans (Freedom) had a big game from off the bench with 16 points, making 4 of 10 from 3-point range.
But there’s a lot of heavy lifting remaining in the Coast-North.
The Hawks (17-4, 3-2) will need more quality efforts down the stretch to remain in title contention. They will host their next three games against Skyline on Jan. 25, Foothill Jan. 27, and Ohlone Feb. 1.
Despite getting 20 points from standout Samantha Roney, the Las Positas women's team fell 85-47 to powerful CCSF. Roney also had 25 points in a 97-75 loss to Chabot last week.
Janelle Bumagat had a double-double against the Gladiators with 18 points and 10 assists.
Las Positas coach Clarence Morgan is glad to see his team getting healthier with players returning for Coast-North games down the stretch. Chelsea LeVeille had 14 points against Chabot
-- Matt Schwab