SRJC Men’s basketball take victory over Sierra College


Sam Guzman

Freshmen forward Nolan Capurro drives to his left in a win over Sierra on Feb. 10 in Haehl Pavilion.

Jonathan Cangson and Tom Healy

The Bear Cubs Men’s Basketball team kept their playoff hopes alive with a dramatic win over the Sierra College Wolverines at home on Feb. 10.

It was a victory well fought for.

The first possession for Sierra after winning the tip-off started ideally for SRJC, as Bear Cubs forward Stephen Ransom blocked a layup on his first touch of the ball game.

Santa Rosa started the game off well, playing exceptionally in the first half, with guard Zeke Grund and forward Justin Smith spearheading the Bear Cubs’ efforts. Grund ended the night with a whopping 19 points and Smith finished just behind him with 14 and made a major contribution by rebounding throughout the game despite coming off the bench.

Bear Cubs’ Head Coach Craig McMillan noted Smith’s play as a key part to their flying first half. “Justin gave us a real spark and was a big key to us taking a big lead leading into halftime.” He added, “He has been really improving lately.”

Sierra College made some impressive efforts as well; guards Isaiah Duve and Elad Schnidler went on a few good scoring runs. Sierra’s top player, guard Tamatoa Humbert, led the team in points with 13, and played excellent defense.

The first half looked favorably for the Bear Cubs, as they went into halftime with a score of 41-24 in their favor.

Sierra turned the game around quickly in the second half, making it competitive and bringing them within four points.

“Our defensive intensity and ball movement weren’t as good early in the second half, which allowed Sierra to make a run,” McMillan said.

Unfortunately the clock was against Sierra, and a mix of missed shots later on, as well as Santa Rosa’s consistency from the freethrow line, stopped the comeback before it came to fruition.

The Wolverines head coach John Fusano was visibly frustrated with how his team finished the game.

The game ended 70-60 in favor of the Bear Cubs, with Sierra essentially trying to stop the clock by intentionally fouling SRJC players with possession for the last two minutes.