By Konnor McIntosh and Gabe Crosetti
Las Positas was set out for redemption after last season’s second half let down in the sweet sixteen. The Hawks have been known for their fast starts, but tonight they closed the deal.
LPC’s depth paved the way for a convincing 87-71 win in the second round of the Northern California Regional Tournament over Diablo Valley College Vikings. Nick Evans would lead the way in the first half scoring 15 points off of the bench, all of which coming in a five minute span. “They kept leaving me open and I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been a shooter for most of my life so it was like second nature to me.” Evans said describing his mentality as a long-range shooter.
In addition to Evan’s first half flurry, the Hawks would use their full court press and length inside to take an eight point lead into the break. DVC’s Rodney Pope had 10 points, but he and the rest of his team committed a multitude of turnovers and took an array of low percentage shots. “We wanted to dictate the tempo and get them playing fast. We didn’t care if they made quick two’s because we felt it was playing into our hands in the end.” said Las Positas head coach Giacomazzi.
DVC came out strong to start the second half and cut the lead down to four, but Kameron Johnson’s defensive effort and Caleb Baskett’s offensive production helped the Hawks maintain a comfortable lead.
Giacomazzi relied heavily on his bench in the first half but rode his starting unit for much of the games conclusion. Nick Evans played sparingly in the second half when Johnson and Baskett pushed the Hawks lead to as much as 16 points. Free throw shooting sealed the win for LPC despite several points being left at the line in the first half.
“One night it could be player A or it could be player B. We just have to figure out who is the best matchup for the team we are playing. Tonight it was Nick’s ability to stretch out their zone and it worked for us. “ said Giacomazzi.
Center Donald Mims had four blocks and his along with Stokley Chaffee’s length helped the Hawks dominate the glass. DVC eventually started double teaming Chaffee and Mims on rebounds. 6’10’’ Freshman forward Anand Hundal, who comes off the bench, made a strong impact when he was in the game, but was called for several off- ball fouls which limited his playing time.
DVC tried to stay in the game behind Brazilian freshman guard Victor Mijas, who had three threes, but Las Positas’ backcourt’s speed and tempo forced DVC into too many mistakes. The Vikings ended their season going 2-4 in their final six games after a four game win streak to end the month of January.
Las Positas has now won their first game of the playoffs in two consecutive years under Giacomazzi. The Hawks record now stands at 22-7 headed into the third round of the regional tournament.