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Yuba men's basketball back in form with 89-60 win over Contra Costa
BVC title still goes through Marysville
Akachi Okugo fired a pass to Cedric Toles in transition, and with 3 minutes remaining in the game, Toles threw down a thunderous dunk to put the Yuba College crowd on its feet.
Friday's Bay Valley Conference game against favorite Contra Costa wasn't a nail-biter.
In fact, the bucket gave the 49ers their biggest lead of the game — 86-57.
So much for questioning the defense of Yuba College's seventh consecutive conference title.
A few weeks ago, Toles was a gray-shirt freshman, but after a couple of departures, coach Doug Cornelius and assistant Ken Griffin were forced to throw the youngster in the den early.
His dunk was indicative of how Friday's game unraveled — a complete team effort.
Every member of the Yuba College men's basketball team was a part of the 89-60 victory, and now fans shouldn't let the 7-6 record fool them.
"When we play a schedule like we do, it prepares us for our conference," Cornelius said. "I didn't expect that. But it's clear this team is talented. We have played two great games in a row."
Contra Costa (9-4) took a 2-0 lead to start the game, and that was the last time they were ahead.
Yuba went on a 10-2 run sparked by Achoki Moikobu's 3-pointer, Chris Smith's nifty layup in transition and one of Jeremy Bubier's several putbacks.
And it was powered by a handful of Gary Melvin blocks.
"He's our Dennis Rodman," Cornelius said of Melvin. "The kid can jump."
One of 11 freshmen, Melvin's athletic prowess was one of many highlights, and Bubier's performance was no different.
"Bubier is getting better and better," Cornelius said of his center.
While Moikobu and Okugo's court vision kept the offense stabilized, the stats tell the story.
Defensively, Yuba only allowed five Contra Costa assists and outrebounded the Comets 38-22, one of few opportunities to do so with the team's limited height.
Assists came from every place on the court, from post-to-post to long outlet passes, nearly every aspect of the game was flawless – nearly, every aspect.
"I think we played a little out of control in the first half, but that's probably just because the guys were so hyped up for this," Cornelius said. "In the second half, they really composed themselves."
While Yuba had 12 turnovers in the first half, they committed just six in the second half — they also went on a 25-7 run.
And most of that came from four players — Okogu, Smith, and two players who caught fire off the bench.
Jaysen Williams and Vic West Jr. may still be maturing, but it didn't show early in the second half.
Williams grabbed five consecutive rebounds, had three steals in the post and owned the paint for the 6 minutes he played.
West Jr., along with several others off the bench, had a snap in their passes and converted on quality looks.
Williams and Smith led the team in the rebounding department with seven apiece, while Moikobu finished with five assists.
Yuba also found its stroke from beyond the arc, draining seven 3-pointers, and made their way to the line, finishing 18 for 26 from the stripe.
Okugo and Smith led the 49ers with 18 points apiece, while West Jr. finished with 13.
Yuba now sits at the top of the conference with an early 2-0 record.