Blowout puts Bear Cubs in first place


Ali Benzerara

Forward John McMillan slams it in on a fast break in a 64-40 win over Sierra College on Jan. 24.

Ali Benzerara, Staff Writer

Santa Rosa Junior College Men’s basketball swept away Sierra College with a 64-40 win on Jan. 24 in Haehl Pavilion.

The Bear Cubs [15-6, 6-1] improved their first place conference record to 6-1 with the win, one game over San Joaquin Delta [12-8, 5-2] in the Big 8 conference. They now rank the No. 11 spot in state and No. 6 in the North, according to a Jan. 23 poll by CCCAA.

It was a slow but exciting start with only 14 points scored between the two teams in the first eight minutes.

SRJC began to pick up the pace late in the first half when first-year students, center Erik Poulsen and forward John McMillan, threw down menacing dunks within seconds of each other. The Bear Cubs lead 29-16 at the half

We have to keep the ball out of the block and post, and play off the glass,” said head coach Craig McMillan before the game. “If we attack with enough ball movement and pass, we will be good.”

Adhering to the coach’s advice, the Bear Cubs made an effort to grab every rebound and hit every open teammate with a pass.

However, Sierra [9-12, 4-3] battled back early in the second half to put the score at 33-26 and the Bear Cubs responded and burst into action with a 13-0 run, expanding its lead to 20 points.

The run started when sophomore forward Jon Montez scored back-to-back buckets, followed by another set of back-to-back shots from Justin Frazier, two free throws by McMillan, and yet another set of back-to-back buckets made by Poulsen. Amidst Poulsen’s back-to-back shots was a soaring 3-pointer from the top of the arc. SRJC dominated the rest of the game as Sierra slowly slipped into its final minutes.

The key players of the game for SRJC were Paulson, who hit two 3-pointers finishing with 14 points and Montez, who scored eight.

The Bear Cubs will face off against American River College at 7:30 p.m. On Jan. 27 in Sacramento, CA.