By Martin Gallegos
LIVERMORE, Calif. — Conference play continues to plague the LPC Hawks basketball squad as the team dropped their conference record to 1-5 on Wednesday night with a loss to City College of San Francisco Rams.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start. Sloppy passes were coming from both sides and the first basket was not scored until a three-pointer from LPC’s McKayle Harnell almost three minutes into the game. Once the bucket dropped, LPC found some confidence and went on a quick 7-0 run to begin the game, although it would be short-lived, as CCSF’s squad woke up with a barrage of three-pointers to get right back in the game.
After CCSF guard Troy Thompson hit a three to tie the game at 15, Hawks’ head coach Lon Rork called a timeout to cool off the hot-shooting Rams.
“Don’t let them get inside!” Rork yelled as he spoke to his team on the sideline.
The Hawks did protect the inside, but that was only because the Rams continued to drain three-point shots after the timeout and eventually pulled to a 22-16 lead. While it looked like CCSF would pull away, LPC showed some resilience. They pulled to within three points of the Rams, but then Troy Thompson splashed home another three at the first half buzzer to go into half time with a 38-32 lead for CCSF.
When the second half resumed, the Rams continued to shoot well from behind the arc as Troy Thompson hit another three-pointer.
With CCSF again looking like they would run away with a 46-35 lead, the Hawks again came storming back. LPC guard Giordi V’Soske hit two threes in a row and came up with a big steal that turned into two points to tie the game up at 46. Unfortunately for the Hawks, that would be the last time LPC would get close to taking the lead as the Rams once again pulled away, this time for good.
With about three minutes left in the game, Rams forward Jerrod Nodar put the dagger in the heart of the Hawks. He hit a three-point shot along with getting fouled and turned it into a four-point play in order to give CCSF a commanding 75-58 lead. The Hawks proceeded to score some points in garbage time, but the outcome was no longer in question after the big play from Nodar and the game ended with a final score of 78-66 in favor of the Rams.
“Once we realized that game was out of hand the whole energy of the team just dropped at that point,” Rork said.
CCSF’s Troy Thompson was the star of the game, as he hit three-point shots from everywhere and led the way for the Rams with 15 points. For LPC, Jayson Rose scored a team-high 14 points.
With the team now 1-5 in conference play, the Hawks are in a major slump. Coach Rork says there is still time left to turn things around, but the team needs to stay positive.
“We’re just trying to get the team to stay together,” Rork said. “It’s a tough time of the year right now. We had a great start to the year. Once we hit conference play we knew it was going to be tough.”