By Gabriel Crosetti @gabrielcrosetti
The Las Positas facilities were on full display this past weekend as they played host to the California Community College basketball state championships. It gave LPC a chance to showcase its top-of-the-line renovations and gain exposure.
The tournament consisted of the top 16 men’s and women’s basketball teams from the northern and southern regions of the state. There were 14 schools that made the journey down to Livermore,
Calif. all in hopes of ending their seasons atop of the throne.
“We get a chance to show off the campus and to show off the city of Livermore,” LPC Athletic Director Amir Law said. “It’s great to be the focal point for California community colleges for a weekend. They get to see and learn about Las Positas and all we have to offer.”
Despite the fact that LPC is located relatively far to most of the participating schools, it did its best to ensure that its guests felt welcomed and at home for the long weekend.
“This is a very nice place. A very nice court that’s in good condition, and it’s a beautiful campus,” San Diego City College Athletic Director Randy Barnes said. “A bit of a drive but we’re happy to be here.”
Neither the men’s nor women’s LPC basketball programs saw action on their home court this postseason, but the local Rams of City College of San Francisco had both of their programs suited up and competing for the state title.
The City College women’s program lost after their first day of action which was quickly dominated by the southern teams. The only northern school that advanced passed the first round of women’s play was College of the Siskiyous, which eventually got blown out by Mount San Antonio College in the finals Sunday losing 75-54.
In the men’s bracket, CCSF were the defending state champs and the favorites for this year’s tournament. However, the Knights of San Diego City College ultimately upset the top-seeded Rams and advanced to the finals where they would face the Fullerton College Rangers.
The close, hard-fought contest was a reflection of the competition all throughout the weekend as both teams saw their season’s destiny wind down to the last few seconds.
With four seconds remaining, San Diego guard Darien McClain dribbled the entirety of the court and threw up a prayer shot over the out-stretched arms of a Fullerton defender.
The shot bounced high off the glass and went through the basket. McClain observed his shot go in from the hardwood floor under the basket, soon to be trampled by all his fellow teammates celebrating the fact that they were now crowned the best community college team in California.
“I feel euphoric. It’s not real. This isn’t going to set in for a while,” said San Diego City College coach Mitch Charlens.
The Knights coach was at a loss for words after claiming his first title in his 13th season of leading the program.
As the championship weekend wound down, the feeling of success set it.
“A lot of people have never been up here before and every team and every coach that I’ve talked to has been wowed with our facilities, our event management, the staff and the campus,” Law said.