A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

An additional four to six-week delay faces students who have already submitted their FAFSA for 2024-2025 academic year.
FAFSA Updates Result in More Delays
Amy Moore, Reporter • February 14, 2024

SRJC Men’s Basketball keeps win streak alive against San Joaquin Delta

SRJC+forward+Stephen+Ransom+shooting+a+free+throw+at+Santa+Rosa%E2%80%99s+Haehl+Pavilion+Feb.+2%2C+2024
Yna Bollock
SRJC forward Stephen Ransom shooting a free throw at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Feb. 2, 2024

The Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs extended their recent winning streak to seven with a big 71-64 victory against the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs at home Feb. 2.

Santa Rosa went into the game as favorites, boasting a 16-6 record compared to San Joaquin Delta’s 11-10. Though San Joaquin Delta still had plenty of reasons to want this victory, especially considering the last matchup between the two teams was a tightly contested loss for the Mustangs with a final score of 77-75.

Santa Rosa’s starters in the backcourt included guards Zeke Grund and Andrew Pengel, with the frontcourt consisting of forwards Ezekiel Stallworth, Yatyn Anderson, and Justin Smith. 

The first and last five minutes were the most competitive parts of the whole game, with Santa Rosa and Delta going back and forth with the lead in the opening moments. Delta made several difficult threes, one after another, to give the Mustangs a sign of life in the closing moments.

The game started off hot, with Smith winning the tip-off and teammate Pengel immediately establishing himself as a threat early on, grabbing several rebounds and moving the ball down the floor quickly to find an open shot or a teammate. 

Midway through the first half, the Bear Cubs were up 20-15, with Pengel and Stallworth starting off strong, but as the minutes for the first half wound down, it was Smith who showed up for Santa Rosa, going on a 6-0 run and using his height to grab crucial rebounds.

Delta’s push to take back the lead was spearheaded by Guard Dayton Magana, who looked impressive from behind the arc to start, making Santa Rosa pay for leaving him open from three on multiple occasions in the first half. Teammate and forward Domonick Victor was also finding some early success by using an extremely physical playstyle, boxing out, and fighting to get rebounds and putbacks.

The first half ended 40-31 in favor of Santa Rosa with mostly positives for the Bear Cubs. The team chemistry looked to be solid and the players themselves had a noticeable excitement to end the first half on a high note.

Going into the second half, both teams looked notably slow, just feeling out the game. Delta came out much more aggressive physically though, committing six personal fouls before Santa Rosa had even one.

The Bear Cubs looked to slow down and keep their lead by playing intelligent basketball; about halfway through the second period they led 50-41.

But San Joaquin Delta had other plans, starting to press full court and slowly gain ground on the Bear Cubs’ lead, though SRJC forward Yatyn Anderson did an excellent job of bringing the ball up and evading the pressure.

With a minute remaining, the score stood at 63-55, with Santa Rosa on top, though suddenly, Delta Guard Julian Brown made two extremely impressive three pointers in just 30 seconds. Pengel replied with a three of his own to relieve the late game pressure.

SRJC head coach Craig McMillan himself was surprised by the late game display. “I couldn’t believe some of the shots they were hitting,” he said. “I thought some of the shots he hit, it was hard to play much better defense than we were without fouling. He made some big time shots.”

The score sat at 66-61 with only 33 seconds to go, and Delta had already used up all of their timeouts. They were forced to foul on every Santa Rosa possession, giving up crucial free throws to Grund and Smith, who were able to maintain the lead. Delta still made yet another shot from beyond the arc to put the score at 71-64. 

With 19 seconds left, Anderson took the ball up-court and was able to dodge the intentional foul attempts as the clock winded down and the game officially ended. This win not only extended Santa Rosa’s winning streak, but solidified its 2-0 record against Delta. 

The Bear Cubs were able to withstand a late-game onslaught, and McMillan credits his team’s composure for it. “Earlier in the season, we had some trouble against pressure,” he said. “They got behind and wanted to pick it up. Very late in the game we made a few ill-advised decisions, but for the most part we handled the pressure and the fouls and made enough free throws to withstand that barrage of threes that they made at the end.”

Standout SRJC players include Pengel and Smith, who finished with 14 and 13 points respectively. Smith talked about the team’s postseason dreams after the win. “We really needed this win to secure being a contender for the first spot in the league, and I think this result is gonna get us hyped to face Consumnes, who is a team we’ve lost to before,” he said.

The Oak Leaf Player of the game has to go to forward Stephen Ransom, who, despite coming off the bench, led the Bear Cubs in points with 22, as well as grabbing multiple rebounds and steals. Two of his 22 points in the game came when he got the ball on a fastbreak and dunked it, which made the Haehl Pavilion crowd jump out of their seats. 

After the game, he spoke on the team’s win streak. “It definitely gives us confidence, mostly faith, we have different guys that can go out there and score 20 at least four to five games a season, so we just have faith in each other,” he said. “We know that anybody on the team can come out here and handle their business.”

The Bear Cubs look to maintain their hot streak as they face the Consumnes River Hawks at home at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 6.

About the Contributors
Jonathan Cangson, Reporter
Jonathan Cangson (he/him) is in his fourth semester of The Oak Leaf as a reporter and editor focused primarily on sports coverage and social media coverage. He hopes to graduate soon with his associates in Journalism. He also hopes to become a broadcast journalist and commentate for a company like ESPN or Sky Sports. He likes to play with his dogs, hang out with friends, and watch Arsenal FC and the Golden State Warriors.
Yna Bollock, Reporter
Yna Bollock is in her first semester with the Oak Leaf. She has been working on prerequisites for the last two semesters and is elated to begin major specific requirements for the journalism program, specifically photojournalism. Prior to pursuing a photojournalism degree, she graduated from SRJC’s culinary program in 2013. In 2020, following a layoff from the hospitality industry, Yna graduated from the CNA program in June in an effort to stay gainfully employed throughout the pandemic. Now in 2024, she is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s of arts in photojournalism.