Hancock College Holiday Classic
Dates: December 28-30
Teams: Cuesta (7-8), Bakersfield (6-4), San Jose (3-8), Palomar (8-5), Merritt (4-7), Los Angeles Southwest 6-7), Chabot (1-11), Allan Hancock (8-5).
Match ups: The eight team Hancock College Holiday Classic will get underway later on today as five Southern California teams and three Northern California teams will take part in the three-day event in Santa Maria.
In the first game of the tournament, Cuesta (7-8) will battle Bakersfield (6-4) in first round action. The Cougars come into the tournament going 5-2 in their last seven games after starting the season off 2-7. Cuesta has played well the past month and have picked up two victories against Saddleback and knocked off Copper Mountain as well in the month of December. The Cougars are led in scoring by Noah Saunders as the sophomore is having a standout season averaging 17.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest. Josh Wilson-Murry is the other Cougar averaging in double figures as the freshman guard is averaging 12.2 points and shooting 39% from downtown this season. Rodrigo Mazarin (9.0 points), and Nico Gonzalez (7.9 points) will both look to contribute in first round action for the Cougars against Bakersfield. The Renegades come into the tournament on a two game winning streak but Bakersfield has not stepped on the court since December 2nd when the Renegades picked up a win against Santiago Canyon. Three Renegades are averaging in double figures in scoring led by Jamar Hammonds who is averaging 21.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest this season. Hammonds has scored in double figures in 9 out of 10 games and the sophomore scored a season high of 39 points against Santiago Canyon on November 4th. Jaylunn English (16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds) and Tucker Eenigenburg (15.3 points and 6.4 rebounds) are two other players averaging in double figures and have been stand outs for the Renegades through ten games. Henry Galinato (9.0 points) and Shahadah Camp (8.8 points) have played well for Bakersfield this season.
In the second game of the tournament, Palomar (8-5) will take on San Jose (3-8). The Comets come into the tournament winning three of their last four games but had a setback in their last outing against Southwestern. Jackson Strong leads the Comets in scoring as the sophomore sharp shooter is averaging 20.5 points and 6.4 rebounds this season. Strong is shooting 43% from downtown and is one of the best shooters in the state. Matt Meyers has played well for the Comets this season as the big man is averaging 16.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this year. Anthony Brewer (8.1 points) will look to contribute as well against San Jose in first round action. San Jose comes into the tournament losing three of their last four and off to a slow start this season. Jonell Burton leads the Jaguars in scoring as the sophomore is averaging 14.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Kameron Vales (12.1 points) and Kobe Foster (10.7 points) are two other players averaging in double figures for San Jose this season. The winner of this first round match up will face off against the Bakersfield and Cuesta winner in the semi finals.
In the third match up of the day Allan Hancock (8-5) will take on a struggling Chabot (1-11) team. Hancock comes into the tournament on a two game winning streak and will look to advance to the semi finals with a win over Chabot. The Bulldogs are led by Shane Carney as the sophomore point guard is averaging 16.2 points and 5.5 assists per contest this season. Glenn Jordan (10.1 points and 4.6 assists), Spirit Ricks (9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds) and Devin Davis (9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds) have all contributed this season for the Bulldogs going into first round action against Chabot. The Gladiators come into the tournament on a six game losing streak. Chabot has struggled all season long as their lone win came against Napa on November 30th. Jorden Gilmete is the only Chabot player averaging in double figures as the freshman is averaging 12.6 points this season. Stephen Northington is another player that could provide scoring for Chabot, as the freshman is averaging 9.4 points per game for the Gladiators.
In the last match up of the first round, Merritt (4-7) will take on Los Angeles Southwest (6-7). Merritt will look to pick up their second straight win after knocking off Marin in their last outing. The Thunderbirds have two players averaging in double figures led by freshman Isiah Davis who is averaging 14.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest. Deon Steward is averaging 11.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest this season for Merritt. Jahn Channese (8.9 points) and Obie Richard (8.5 points) will both look to contribute for Merritt against Los Angeles Southwest in first round action. The Cougars come into the game winning three of their last four but lost big against Fullerton in their last outing. Los Angeles Southwest is led by D’Lano Beckles who is averaging 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds this season. Beckles scored a season high of 26 points against San Diego City on December 2nd. Deric Daniels is second in scoring for the Cougars as the sophomore is averaging 10.6 points and 4.8 assists this season. Kiza Sekiyoba (10.5 points and 3.7 rebounds), and Isaiah Hawk (10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds) are two other players that are averaging in double figures for the Cougars. The winner of this match up will face the Hancock and Chabot winner on Friday in the semi finals.