It may only be a small sample size, but the California Community College season has begun and there are some early trends worth noting.
On the women’s side, the College of San Mateo dropped a season-opening result to American River but bounced back emphatically to beat Hartnell College and capture its first win.
And with added depth in 2013-14, it’s simple to see that in order for CSM to be successful, it’ll have to get get production from all parts of the roster.
Against American River, the CSM starting five scored 44 of the 58 total points and the bench managed those 14 points by shooting 10 percent from the floor.
It was also a less than stellar day on the glass as no CSM player had more than eight rebounds. The Bulldogs also managed just six steals for the game.
That all changed against Hartnell. The CSM bench came up with 22 huge points — helping maintain a 34-9 halftime lead posted by the starters.
McKenna Hilton had her second big game offensively. She scored 20 against American River and followed that with a team-leading 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the floor.
Rebounding was also big for the Bulldogs. Amanda Lee, from her guard position, pulled down 10 as CSM out-glassed the Panthers 46-25.
And as a team, the Bulldogs were aggressive defensively and notched 30 steals. Lee had five and Catherine Cooper tallied six.
But again, the key was CSM’s depth and bench production. Head coach Michelle Warner said Julianne Llacer is probably the fastest player on the team this season and she showed just how valuable her speed could be. Coming off the bench, Llacer scored nine points, pulled down four boards and had six steals.
Over on the men’s side, Cañada head coach Mike Reynoso predicted his team would face its fair share of bumps in his first year at the helm of the Colt program.And the early part of the season suggests Reynoso was at least partially correct.
Sure, the Colts are off to an 0-3 start and that doesn’t look pretty in the standings. But, with the exception of Game 1 (a 16-point loss to Sacramento City College), the Colts have competed at the level Reynoso is hoping for.
“We were in control during a couple of those games for about 16 or 17 minutes,” Reynoso said. “We just couldn’t close things out. The first two games, it took us a while to adjust our defensive pressure. Like we talked about earlier, we want to be a physical team. But we kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”
Reynoso said the Colts were victims of overaggressiveness. In the first two games, a total of 140 fouls were called — the majority against Cañada’s perimeter players. It’s not wonder that in three losses, teams are averaging 97.4 points per game and six different players have eclipsed the 20-point mark against them.
“We did a good job of adjusting against Monterey,” Reynoso said. “We just didn’t close out on shooters as tight as we needed to. You have to give credit to Monterey though. They knocked down 17 3s. We just need to do a better job of piecing things together. We really need to take pride in our defensive game and we’re still not playing as hard as we can.”
But on the positive side, it appears Reynoso may have found his main scorer — something he was unsure about before his Colts stepped on the court.
Rohndell Goodwin had led Cañada in scoring in all three games with performances of 15, 25 and 27 points.
“He’s just an absolute player,” Reynoso said. “The thing we really like about Rohndell is, yes he’s averaging 25 a game, but he’s not taking bad shots. He’s not shooting a high volume. He’s inside. He’s outside. He’s getting to the line. He’s going to be our main scorer.”
Israel Hakim has been a key offensively contributor as well. He’s averaged 15 points per game.
“There aren’t many guys in the state who can guard him off the bounce,” Reynoso said. “He can blow by a lot of people. He just needs to work on his shot and shore up that part of his game.”
Former Carlmont Scot David Hobbs is on an early scoring spurt as well.
“But, it’s like I told the guys, if we put up 90 points, we should be getting the W,” Reynoso said. “We’ve proven we are capable of scoring that much, which is reassuring because I didn’t think that would be the case at all.”
And finally at Menlo College, Jolise Limcaco turned in strong performances in two Southern California games to earn the California Pacific Conference women’s basketball Player of the Week honor.
Limcaco put up 12 points and dished out eight assists in a loss at Hope International, but turned around the next night to lead her team to a 64-62 win at Biola. The junior point guard poured in 21 points to go with her nine assists and four steals.
The Menlo Oaks are now 2-1 on the season and find themselves ranked No. 24 in the NAIA preseason polls.