VENTURA -- Winning all three of its games at the Ventura College "We Play Hard" Tournament over the weekend, the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers men's basketball team will turn its collective attention to a pair of road games in the High Desert later this week.
And Ventura it where it pretty much began for current RCC four-year head coach (and CCCAA Hall of Fame coach) Phil Mathews, in 1985-86 and where he spent ten seasons (1986-1995) and recorded a won-lost record of 296-56. He guided the Pirates to ten straight Western State Conference (WSC) – North Division championships and state championships in 1986-87 and 1994-95.
Riverside City (3-0 overall) opened with a 102-59 win over the Moorpark College Raiders last Thursday (Nov. 3) and then posted an 86-75 win over the Antelope Valley College (AVC) Marauders last Friday (Nov. 4) before it swept through the tournament with an 83-77 win over the Palomr College Comets last Saturday (Nov. 5).
Against Moorpark, RCC led, 50-34, at halftime and cruised to the win. Sophomore guard Andy Cleaves II (Riverside / John W. North HS '14) led six Tigers in double-digit points with 16, followed by sophomore forward-center Rovan Halloway (Fresno / Central HS '15), who had 15. Freshman Brae Ivey (Huntington Beach / Edison HS '15) had a game-high seven rebounds and 12 points.
Against Antelope Valley, Riverside led, 34-29, at halftime and kept the Marauders at bay. Ivey and freshman guard Brandon Thomas (Woodland Hills / Taft HS '16) each had a team-high 14 points.
In the tournament championship final against Palomar, RCC spotted the Comets a 46-39 halftime before bouncing back by outscoring them, 44-31, in the second half. Cleaves and Ivey each had a team-high 15 points. Halloway had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Later this week, the Tigers will face the Porterville College Pirates on Thursday, Nov. 10, at Victor Valley College (VVC) in a 7 p.m. tipoff before facing the host VVC Rams on Friday, Nov. 11, in a 7 p.m. tipoff as well.
The Tigers will continue play away from home until Tuesday, Dec. 6, when they entertain the California Miramar University junior varsity team in the opening round of the 45th Annual Riverside Holiday Tournament.