A deep playoff-run is nothing to new to the Yuba College men’s basketball program. However, something that is unfamiliar for the 49ers is their opponent tonight at the Yuba College gym: The No. 5 College of Sequoias Giants.
“We’ve watched a lot of film on them since we haven’t faced them this season,” Yuba College head coach Doug Cornelius said. “We have both played a few of the same opponents but other than that there’s not much to look at on paper because we haven’t gone head to head,” he added.
After last week’s dominant performance vs. Las Positas, the 49ers are ready for the task ahead, which comes with a trip to regionals on the line.
Championship runs aren’t made without a few hardships along the way though. After having its entire roster back last week, Yuba will have to sit out Jacob Matta tonight due to a lower-body injury.
“It hurts, he’s one of those guys we can really rely on off the bench, but all that means is it’s time for the next guys we call on to step up,” Cornelius said.
With Matta out, look for the Yuba coaching staff to call upon Lindhurst High product Miles Pennington.
“He had a good game last week against Las Positas and played really smart, I’d like to see that kind of play from him again tonight,” Cornelius said in regards to Pennington.
As for Sequoias, the Giants have been able to rely on freshman guard Ryan Johnson all season long.
After accepting a scholarship to play quarterback for San Jose State, Johnson decided to get back on the hardwood, where he’s led the Giants to a 23-6 record – averaging 13.3 points per game.
“He’s a different kind of athlete, there’s not a lot that phases him and we know that coming into this so we’ll have to be ready to make that adjustment,” Cornelius said.
Other than an athletic back court, the Giants also pose a threat of rebounds. This season Sequioas led the state in boards, averaging 49.4 rebounds per game. In three games this year, the Giants finished with over 60 rebounds.
“It’s insane, to be able to do that at this level,” Cornelius exclaimed. “It’s unheard of,” he added.
As for the 49ers, look for Brandon Recek to have another nice outing. In last week’s match-up against Las Positas the second-year guard went off with 33 points, three steals, three rebounds and four blocks.
Though Cornelius hopes to not have some of his top players get in foul trouble – forcing Recek to take the load – he does admit it’s nice knowing that Recek can step up when it matters.
Tip-off between No. 4 Yuba and No. 5 Sequoias is set for 7 p.m. tonight at the Yuba College gym in Linda.