Given the suspension of athletics in the county, the Daily Journal decided to dive into our 20-year archives to bring readers some of our favorite stories over the years.
FEB. 8, 2007 — Wednesday's game between the Canada and Skyline College men's basketball teams set up to be a barnburner.
Three weeks ago, the Colts edged the Trojans 88-87 in a thriller. In the opening four minutes last night, there were eight lead changes, raising the possibility that the sequel could come down to another last-second shot. However, Canada was simply too tough, building a double-digit lead, weathering Skyline's late surge and coming away with a 70-65 Coast Conference North Division win.
After the furious start, the Colts (5-5 Coast North, 10-14 overall) took control with sound execution on offense, hustle and determination. Undersized but possessing a number of weapons, Canada got hot and was threatening to make it a blowout. The Colts twice had leads of 14 points; James Bisordi's jumper at the free-throw line gave them a 49-35 lead with 13:30 remaining.
That's when Skyline (2-7, 6-19) finally started to kick things into gear. The Trojans went into a zone to shake things up, and it worked as Canada scored only four points in a five-minute stretch midway through the second half. James Whitley scored six straight points for the Trojans, and his last basket pulled them to within 59-57 with 2:25 left. But Skyline would get no closer. The Colts answered with an emphatic 8-0 run, highlighted by five free throws from Bisordi.
"It's a rivalry," Canada coach Lamont Quattlebaum said. "We kind of controlled the game the entire time and they decided to fight and we just hung on. I have to give my guys credit for executing offensively. I told them yesterday and in the walk through that they (Skyline) better not get 80 (points) again. I'm happy with that because any win on the road is a damn good win."
Especially in the Coast Conference North Division. Having won zero league games the last two years, the Colts are at .500, something Quattlebaum hopes is a start to something special.
"To be 5-5 in about as good a conference in Northern California is a huge improvement and something we can build on," he said. "That's the start of a program."
While the Colts were feeling good vibes after last night's victory, Skyline was on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Unfortunately for the Trojans, it was the same old story. For much of the game, they took ill-advised shots, showed impatience offensively and didn't play consistently in any phase of the game.
James Sandoval and Bryan Ngo led Skyline with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Ngo, who has epitomized the team's struggles, enjoyed a nice stretch when the Trojans were making their run. He hit a number of tough shots as he penetrated to the hoop, including an off-balance leaner in the lane that showed tremendous balance and focus.
But it wasn't enough against the Colts, who shot 7 for 19 from 3-point range while effectively getting in the paint for high percentage shots. Bisordi and Daryl Robinson led the way with 16 points each, Philip Havlicek had 15 and Michael Granucci added eight.
"James was absolutely clutch down the stretch," Quattlebaum said. "But that's nothing new. He is an unbelievable player. When the game is on the line, I know Johnny (Moore) and James will feed off each other and get the job done. Johnny hasn't practiced for a week and a half because of a sciatic nerve or something, and he was a warrior tonight.
"That's impressive. Phil was dynamite tonight. He was physical and attacked on the offensive end, and he was unbelievable because their bigs hurt us rebounding last time, and he provided a presence this time."