Las Positas College hosted the third annual Coaches vs. Cancer basketball doubleheader on Feb. 13.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a statewide event that raises funds to benefit cancer research. Last year the event raised $10,000. Proceeds from both the men’s and women’s games that night were donated to the American Cancer Society.
This year, LPC donated two dollars towards cancer research for every point scored. Proceeds and admission from both games were also donated to the American Cancer Society.
While the fight against cancer was emphasized throughout the night, there still had to be a winner and a loser that night. Both the men and women came up short.
On the men’s team, Tony Costello, head coach of the Hawks who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, made his return to the sidelines against Chabot College.
“It felt good. I enjoy coaching this group,” Costello said.
B. T. Shabazz sank back to back three pointers before the Chabot Gladiators could even score and carried them to a 29-22 lead going into the half. In the final minutes of the second half, however, they lost the lead and were unable to catch up to Chabot, with a final score of 71-65. B.T. Shabazz was the team leader in scoring with 23 points.
“The effort was there. We had the determination to win this game and Coach (Costello) had us all fired up. We just had some minor mistakes at the end,” Javonte Evans, sophomore guard for the Hawks, said.
With a team comprised of mostly freshmen, they are just looking to finish this season strong in hopes of gaining momentum to build onto next season. Coach Costello sees his players still trying, and he appreciates the work they are putting in.
“I’m proud of their effort and that they’re competing,” Costello said. “There’s no quit in these guys and that’s what I love about them.”
The Lady Hawks also played against Chabot before the men. After trailing 29-22 at the end of the first half, the Lady Hawks bounced back. They took the lead and held it until the final seconds of the game, where they fell to Chabot, 70-68. Carlie Bonderer continued her amazing season by leading the team with 27 points in a losing effort.
Head coach Clarence Morgan believes free throws caused the ultimate demise of the team.
“Just a lack of execution down the stretch, the biggest thing is free throws, 13 out of 23, we gotta get it in there,” Morgan said. “Overall, good game. I just didn’t like the final score.”
With the next three games against San Mateo, Skyline and San Francisco City College, the Lady Hawks are in position to make a playoff run.
“We have three more games left, and those are the games that are going to get us to the playoffs,” Stefanie Eubanks, sophomore guard for the Lady Hawks, said.
Even with the two losses for our school, that did not diminish the focus of the night. As Coach Costello continues his fight with cancer, he is very appreciative for the school being so supportive and increasing cancer awareness.
“It’s great what the school is doing,” Costello said. “Very classy move on their part.”