Most Viewed Stories
Yuba College men's hoops wins 35th consecutive conference game
Doug Cornelius knew a tough nonconference schedule would pay off at this point in the season — his players just had to realize it.
About two months ago, the Yuba College men's basketball team opened its season with back-to-back losses to state No. 1 City College of San Francisco and No. 2 Mt. San Antonio.
The loss to San Francisco was by one point and the Niners blew a late lead in the setback to Mt. San Antonio.
As disheartening as the defeats were, Cornelius said his team learned a valuable lesson from them: Just because it says "Yuba" across the front of the jersey, doesn't mean winning will come easy.
Building a state championship-caliber team like the 2011-12 version of the 49ers takes time.
The 2012-13 Niners, a team made up of 11 freshmen and just two sophomores, overcame those early-season qualms and are showing the Bay Valley Conference that the championship still goes through Linda.
The six-time defending BVC champions vanquished longtime nemesis Los Medanos College 94-64 on Thursday night to stay undefeated in BVC play through six games.
Cornelius said his team has found its confidence at the right time of the season.
"They played right there with some of the best teams in the state earlier this season," Cornelius said. "Now we feel like we can go out and win this league for the seventh time in a row."
The victory was Yuba's 35th straight in BVC play dating back to the 2009-10 season when they lost to Los Medanos.
The Mustangs' hope of repeating history went away in the second half after they hung tough with the 49ers over the first 20 minutes of play.
The 49ers (12-6 overall) led from start to finish, though the Mustangs did come as close as three points in the first half when they trailed 23-20. Los Medanos hit 13 3-pointers in the game to keep things within reach.
The Niners' full-court press gave the Mustangs trouble in the second half and helped key a 10-0 run that extended Yuba's lead to 73-51.
Yuba shot 62 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes to dismiss any thought of Los Medanos working its way back into contention.
On Tuesday, the Niners trailed Mendocino by 17 points at halftime and used the press to get themselves back in the game, eventually coming away with a 72-66 win.
"The press is bailing us out right now big time," Cornelius said. "The problem is, we can't expect it to bail us out every game. We have to play better from the start so we don't have to rely on it."
Chris Smith led Yuba with 18 points, while sophomore Achoki Moikobu scored 12 and distributed seven assists. Big men Jaysen Williams, Jeremy Bubier and Gary Melvin had 10 points a piece. Williams hauled in eight rebounds and Bubier totaled seven boards.
Yuba received points from 11 of the 12 players who saw time on the court.
Yuba's stretch of three games in five days concludes on Saturday at home against College of Marin, ranked No. 12 in Northern California in the latest coaches poll. Yuba moved up to No. 8 in NorCal and No. 16 in the state.
"I'm tired, and I know they're tired," Cornelius said. "We have these huge gaps during nonconference play and now all of a sudden we hit conference and we're playing games crashed together."
Cornelius said these next two games to round out the first cycle of BVC play will be a huge test for his team.
After hosting Marin on Saturday, Yuba will travel to Merritt to face the Thunderbirds, who are also undefeated in BVC play.
"Three of our next four games could really determine the outcome of this league," Cornelius said.