BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS TO BEGIN
The Las Positas men’s basketball team was rewarded for its fine regular season with a home game against East Bay-rival Diablo Valley Friday night in the CCCAA Northern California regional playoffs. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
The Hawks (21-7), who finished fourth in the powerful Coast-North, received the No. 7 seed, and DVC (20-9) is seeded 10th. Coast-North champion CCSF is the top seed in the playoffs.
Both teams with homegrown stars, the Las Positas and DVC’s programs know each other well. The Vikings took third place in the Las Positas Tip-Off tournament, with the Hawks winning the championship.
Las Positas coach James Giacomazzi, a former two-time Big 8 Coach of the Year, has matched wits through the years with DVC coach Steve Coccimiglio in the Big 8. Coccimiglio reached the 600-win plateau this season and is being inducted in the CCCMBCA Hall of Fame.
The balanced Hawks, who play an uptempo, high-pressure style, are paced by Keith Hunter (14.2 ppg) and Caleb Baskett (13.2 ppg). Stoklee Chaffey is averaging a double-double at 12.7 points and 10.1 points a game.
Both DVC and Las Positas are coming off wins to close out the conference season. The Vikings beat Modesto 87-76 as all-Big 8 picks Rodney Pope and Victor Mijas combined for 55 points, and the Hawks besting Skyline 73-71.
Las Positas is excited to be hosting the CCCAA State Basketball Championships, men’s and women’s, for the second straight year, March 9-12, on Tony Costello Court. This year’s finals have been expanded from four teams to eight teams in both genders.
Here is the game schedule: March 9: Quarterfinals — 1, 3, 5 & 7 p.m.; March 11: Semifinals —1 and 3 pm March 12: Championship —1 p.m. The sophomore showcase is Friday, March 10 at Chabot College, and the Hall of Fame Breakfast is Saturday, March 11 at 9 a.m. at the Hilton Crown Plaza.
The unflappable Las Positas College swimming and diving team showed quantity and quality in the non-scoring Coast Conference Kick Off meet that was rocked by 55 mph wind gusts and had intermittent rain.
“Strength in numbers was the theme,” coach Jason Craighead said via email. “LPC was the largest team for both the men and women, and the depth paid off, with LPC swimmers scoring across the board in all events … I feel pretty confident that both our men and women would have placed first.”
Craighead said the Hawks did a “great job” of preparing for each race.
“We train and practice for days like this,” he continued. “The main reason, championships last year ended up with weather just like (at the kick off meet).”
The Hawks had strong performances from its female distance swimmers, Paris Sinclair and Amaya Batiza, who are training partners, good friends and great competitors. They went one-two in the 500 free and 1650 free.
“They pushed each other for the majority of the races until Sinclair pulled away by small margins in the closing laps,” Craighead said. “Both of their 1650 freestyle times put them right on the average times for qualifying for State Championships!”
The Hawks will travel to Sacramento City Friday to compete in a rare and welcome indoor meet during all the bad weather.
The Hawks' Chaffee, Hunter and Caleb Baskett were first-team all-Coast-North selections, Kameron Johnson made the second team, and Donald Mims was honorable mention.