Mar 09, 2018
VENTURA, Calif. - Ethan Esposito had 17 points as defending champion San Diego City College finally broke away in the final three minutes to turnback Santa Rosa JC, 72-64, in the opening quarterfinal game of the 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championships at Ventura College…
The game was tied for the seventh time, at 56, with 4:18 left on a layup by Santa Rosa's Beau Keeve, who had 14 total points. San Diego guard Thomas Nelson was then fouled on a successful drive with 3:54 remaining and converted a 3-point play to put the Knights up for good at 59-56. A jump shot by Sadik Sufi with 3:31 left closed it to 59-58 before Wonder Smith led SDCC on a 10-point run to take firm command.
Prior to that, Santa Rosa's early 12-5 lead, after five minutes, was the game's largest margin. San Diego led, 36-33, at halftime, following ten lead changes and three ties.
Robert McCoy had 14 points for SDCC, while Smith added 13 points and seven rebounds. Taller San Diego had a 44-26 advantage in rebounds, led by Luis Salgado with nine. Salgado also scored 12 points. While the Knights had six players listed at 6-7 on their roster, Santa Rosa's tallest player was 6-5 Skylar Chavez, who had five rebounds.
Ryan Perez led Santa Rosa with 16 points. Sufi and Keeve each tallied 14 points. Jordan Graves had eight assists.
--San Diego (32-2), the top-seeded Southern California team, will play the winner of the Fresno CC vs. Orange Coast quarterfinal in Saturday's semifinals at 5 p.m. Santa Rosa, the Northern California No. 4 seed, finished 25-5.
San Diego won the 2017 state crown, their first, with a 53-51 triumph over Fullerton in the title game.
NOTABLE: Craig McMillan, in his 18th season as head coach at Santa Rosa, was a teammate of Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr at the University of Arizona. McMillan lost his house in the