VENTURA, Calif. – George Dancer and Tyus Millhollin each had 16 points to lead Fresno City College past Orange Coast College of Costa Mesa, 96-80, in a quarterfinal game at the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championships on Friday at Ventura College.
The Rams (28-4), the No. 2 seed from Northern California and champions of the Central Valley Conference, advance to play defending state champion and top Southern California seed San Diego City College (32-2) in the semifinals on Saturday at 5p.m. That could be another high scoring affair, with Fresno averaging 94 points a game and San Diego 90.
Fresno had five players in double figures. Tommy Nuno, a 6-5 sophomore guard out of Half Moon Bay High, came close to a triple double for the Rams with 12 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds -- but was not needed down the stretch. Drew Cobb, a 6-4 freshmen guard from Sheldon High and Elk Grove, had 15 points. Jess Spivey (Sierra High, Manteca) had 13 points and eight rebounds.
After a foul marked first 15 minutes marked by 9 lead changes and four ties, Fresno broke away from a 29-all deadlock to go up by 11 at the break, 47-36, led by 12 points from Dancer, a 6-3 freshman guard out of Modesto's Fred C. Beyer High School. That was just too big of a gap for the Pirates to overcome.
They made one run after the intermission, closing the margin to 51-47 before Fresno pulled ahead for good. The Rams led by as many as 24 points, 96-72, before Orange Coast tallied the game's final eight points. The Orange Empire Champion Pirates (22-8) were led by Joshua Davis, a 6-2 freshman center, with 27 points and eight rebounds. They also got 19 points from Lloyd Wright and 14 from Malik Skillern (who connected on four of his five 3-point attempts).
Fresno has been a familiar 21st century finalist with state championships in 2005, 2007, and 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2003. Orange Coast had hoped to make a successful return to the state tournament -- since last winning the title in 1979.
(Fred Baer, College of San Mateo Athletics)