The Yuba College men’s basketball team secured its ninth straight victory on Wednesday night, taking down Napa Valley College in dominant fashion, 97-66.
“These guys are pulling and playing for each other,” Yuba head coach Doug Cornelius said. “A lot of our guys are good enough to be starters on any other team in the league, so the fact that everyone is okay with sharing minutes is a big thing for us.”
After both teams got to feeling things out in the opening moments of the game, the 49ers were able to use some team chemistry to take a lead heading into halftime. The second half is when the home team would really widen the margin.
“We had a ton of teamwork tonight, everyone passed the ball and made a lot of unselfish plays and that’s what led to such a solid win,” Yuba’s Jacob Henry said.
Henry was able to knock down a few 3-pointers in the second half, one that really put a damper on Napa Valley’s chances of getting back in the contest.
With 4:49 left in regulation, Henry pulled up from behind the arc and knocked down a shot that put the 49ers up 79-57.
Yuba wasn’t going to let up off the gas there.
If Henry’s 3-pointer was the dagger then the play of Justice Cole off the bench had to be the exclamation point.
Cole checked into the game with just under three minutes to go, but he made do with the little time he had.
After the 49ers forced a turnover close to mid-court, Cole drove to the basket and rose up for an and-1 dunk that made the score 87-60 and electrified those in attendance at the Yuba College gym.
“He’s quite literally a man-child,” Cornelius said. “The dude is a flat out beast and for us to have guys like that on our bench says a lot about the makeup of this team.”
As if Cole’s and-1 dunk wasn’t enough, Jacob Matta decided to try and out-do it with an and-1 euro step. Matta dribbled through two defenders and got the basket and the foul-shot to make the score 91-61 with 2:16 left.
From there both teams played hard till the buzzer went off – reading 97-66 in favor of the 49ers.
Yuba was led by Joesph De’laCerda with 21 points on the night. Henry finished the game with 14 points while Cole tallied 10 points in the win.
“We need to do a better job of keeping our opponents off the offensive glass, other than that we’ll clean some things up and start prepping for Friday,” Cornelius said.
Yuba (16-3, 7-0) will travel to face Contra Costa College on Friday, though due to gym renovations, the 49ers will face Contra Costa at Diablo College in Concord at 5:30 p.m.