By Devin Bradshaw
Las Positas had no answer for the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs losing 81-58 in the second round of the NorCal Regional Playoffs.
After an average season, the Hawks finished the season winning three of their last four games before running into the red-hot Bear Cubs, who entered the game on a 19 game win streak.
The game was close for the first couple minutes as both teams struggled to find their rhythm, combining for a total of 10 points through the first 7 mins of the game.
To win the game as the underdog the Hawks had to come out with energy, but instead looked flat and were unable to capitalize on Santa Rosa’s inability to score.
Part of Santa Rosa’s early struggles came from Big 8 Conference MVP Skylar Chavez sitting on the bench after getting into foul trouble early on in the game. With the Bear Cubs start sitting on the beach the Hawks still weren’t able to find a groove.
Santa Rosa players Jordan Graves and Sadik Sufi picked up the slack for Chavez, scoring the Bear Cubs first 15 points.
As soon as Chavez reentered the game, he made his mark immediately. He hit tough, tough unguardable shots on his way to 23 points and also dominated defensively with 3 blocks.
Santa Rosa began to pour it on. Going into halftime leading 36-18.
Las Positas huge advantage over Santa Rosa was supposed to be size, but that was negated by Santa Rosa’s aggressiveness. With no players over 6 feet 5 inches the Bear Cubs stifled Las Positas’ 6 feet 10 inch big men. Every time the Hawks tried to pound the ball inside, the Bear Cubs double teamed the ball handler forcing bad passes and shots, leading to terrible turnovers and more opportunities for Santa Rosa to score.
“They did a great job of really neutralizing our forwards and packing it in,” Coach James Giacomazzi said “They forced us to take shots and beat them from the perimeter and unfortunately we did not shoot very well.”
The second half was more of the same with the Bear Cubs putting the game away in the first couple minutes starting on a 7-0 out of the gate, Las Positas never got any closer. Santa Rosa made timely shots keeping Las Positas at bay for the rest of the game.
With the season over the Hawks will be forced to look toward to the future with the core of the team leaving. The team will have a much different look, but the playoff experience is something they will remember and keep with them, using it as motivation next season.