It’s never easy in the Coast Conference-North Division, that’s for sure.
The Las Positas men’s basketball team rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to take a critical 73-71 win over Foothill on Feb. 1 and stay one game behind CCSF in the Coast-North standings.
Las Positas (18-4, 6-1), which withstood a pair of late 3-pointers by the Owls, was led by freshman Michael Hayes (West High-Tracy), who had 25 points and 12 rebounds. Hayes was 10 for 17 from the floor.
Hayes is known for his rim-rattling dunks and athletic prowess, but it’s not just fun and games out there for one of the state’s elite all-around players.
“He is just super competitive,” Las Positas coach James Giacomazzi said of Hayes, who ranks third in the state in scoring (23.9 ppg) and fifth in total rebounding (213). “He wants to win and so whatever he has to do to try and help his team win, he’ll do, whether it’s getting a key rebound or a defensive stop, locking down their best player or making key free throws, he’s done some of that in every game.”
Giacomazzi described the Foothill game as a “tale of two halves.” A key factor in the second half was the Hawks went from a zone to a man press, which helped turn up the heat.
“We were really passive in the first half, didn’t attack gaps in the first half. We kind of didn’t play with as much energy and just as much detail as I thought we would,” Giacomazzi said. “But in the second half the energy certainly picked up right away and we got to our aggressive attack mentality. When we do that, we’re pretty good.”
Alafia Oluwosogo added 13 points and Goose Persin had 12. John Ketchel had 11 points and four steals, piloting the offense with 11 assists. Ketchel, a Freedom High graduate, continues to lead the state in assists, averaging 7.7 per game. Oluwosogo is No. 6 in field goal percentage at 65.5%.
Nana Appiah came off the bench for eight points and four boards. Jamar Gaddis paced Foothill with 23 points.
Las Positas also beat Canada-Redwood City 97-83 on Jan. 30, and so the Hawks have swept the conference's two Peninsula teams this season -- no small feat.
Hayes had 32 points and nine boards against the Colts. Ketchel had kind of a cool double-double with 23 points and 10 assists and Persin added 21 points. Appiah had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.
The Hawks will travel to Ohlone on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and will host Chabot on Friday, Feb. 8, both games at 7 p.m. Las Positas has a big showdown at CCSF (22-1, 7-0) on Feb. 15.