Men’s Basketball Set to Host First Round of CCCAA Southern Regional Playoffs

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

Playoff mode has officially been activated.

After producing an overall record of 19-9 and placing fourth in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC), the Riverside City College men's basketball team has earned the seventh overall seed and will take on the 10th-seeded Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regional playoffs. The game is scheduled for Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Wheelock Gymnasium located on the lower level of RCC's campus.

General admission tickets will be sold for $12. All faculty, staff, students, fans 60 years and older, and children 12 and under will be charged $8 for admission. There is a parking fee of $5 and passes will be available at parking kiosks located in parking lot "K" and "E". If you are unable to attend the contest, the game will be live streamed through Riverside TV's YouTube channel.

The Tigers, who improved their overall record by three wins in just one season, reach the playoff for the third-consecutive year under the direction of Head Coach Philip Matthews. Riverside capped regular season action with a thrilling 94-89 overtime victory over Copper Mountain. They concluded their season on a three game winning streak and reigned supreme in eight of their last nine contests.

Pacing the Tigers offensively is sophomore guard CJ Clark. Clark, who was recently named the OEC Offensive Player of the Year, leads his team in scoring as seen in a 16.2 points-per-game mark to go along with a 38 percent shooting mark from distance. He has landed in double-digit scoring in all but three games and recently bucketed a career-high 38 points in the overtime triumph against Copper Mountain. Furthermore, he has scored 78 points in the past three games while recording at least six assists in each game.

Sophomore sharp shooter Otto Taylor follows suit with 13.9 points-per-game and a team-high three point shooting percentage of 42. He has hit 71 threes with 37 of them coming in conference play. Riverside also relies heavily on their bench play. Freshman tandem Chris Harper and Tyree Winborn lead the bench brigade, as Harper has earned an 11.5 points-per-game clip. Winborn is close behind with 10.9 points-per-game. Freshman Cam'Ron Wilson follows with approximately eight points-per-game and one block-per-game.

Sophomore center Franky McQuay has been the leader on both ends of the hardwood. His defense and intangible offense creates utter havoc for opposing teams. In 26 games played, he has hauled in 182 rebounds to earn a seven rebounds-per-game average. He has amassed 10 or more rebounds in five games. Three of those game led to a trio of triple doubles highlighted by a 17 points, 10 rebound effort in a victory of Copper Mountain on the road.

As for Mt. San Jacinto, they rely on multiple weapons with five players averaging over 10 points-per-game. Leading the team in scoring is sophomore David Thompson (17.9 PPG), while sophomore Deshawn Millington (14.4 PPG) and freshman Justin Holiday (13.4 PPG) follow closely behind.