SRJC basketball: Men, women seek berths in state final four

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

If familiarity breeds contempt, things could get ugly tonight.

Santa Rosa Junior College’s men’s basketball team visits streaking Yuba for their fourth contest this season, with a berth in the California Community College Athletic Association Final Four on the line.

Santa Rosa (26-5) beat Yuba, 70-68, on Nov. 12 at the City College of San Francisco Tournament. The 49ers (31-3) earned payback with an 86-82 win over the Bear Cubs on Dec. 2 in Monterey.

Yuba won what seemed to be the rubber match against SRJC, 82-70, in the title game of the Bear Cubs’ Kris Kringle Tournament to start what has become a 20-game winning streak.

Tonight’s game makes the importance of the first three meetings pale by comparison.

Santa Rosa JC’s women find their Northern California Regional final foe no stranger either.

The fifth-seeded Bear Cubs (24-6) lost to No. 1 seed Foothill (28-4) on Dec. 10 in the championship game of the Santa Rosa tourney. The teams meet again today in Los Altos Hills for the right to advance to the CCCAA Final Four.

Both games tip off at 7 p.m.

Santa Rosa’s men are seeded third in NorCal, while Yuba holds the second seed.

Yuba’s last loss came Dec. 9 against Fresno City, 67-62, in tournament play in Modesto.

The 49ers plastered West Hills, 98-58, then held off Las Positas, 86-83, to earn a spot in tonight’s regional final.

Spencer Butterfield, Yuba’s leading scorer with 16.6 points per game, had to hit a 3-point shot down the stretch to avoid what would have been a major upset at the hands of Las Positas.

Butterfield, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, is joined by high-scoring forward Anthony Romero (14.7 ppg). Kevin Crabb is a 6-foot-8 sophomore for Yuba averaging 10 points per game.

The winner of the men’s game will open the CCCAA Final Four at Cosumnes River College in Elk Grove on March 10 at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. The state championship game is set for March 11 at 3:30 p.m.

Tonight’s other NorCal region final has fifth-seeded Fresno City College (29-3) hosting No. 8 seed Cabrillo (23-3).

The Southern California region finals tonight feature top seed Citrus (27-1) entertaining No. 4-seeded San Bernardino Valley College, while 19th-seed Riverside (16-10) visits seventh-seeded Antelope Valley (22-7).

Foothill’s women crushed 16th-seeded San Jose, 80-54, before slipping past No. 8 Cosumnes River, 66-63, in overtime to advance to play Santa Rosa.

The Bear Cubs thrashed 12th-seeded Chabot, 54-39, before pounding No. 4 seed Ohlone on the road, 65-51, on Wednesday.
Tonight’s other NorCal regional final has third seed Fresno City (27-5) at No. 2 seed San Francisco (26-5).

The women’s Final Four begins Friday with games at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Cosumnes River. The championship game tips off March 11 at 1 p.m.

The Southern California region finals have No. 1 seed Mt. San Antonio (28-3) hosting fourth seed East Los Angeles (24-6) and No. 2 Ventura (30-1) at home against No. 3 San Bernardino (27-3).

To see the CCCAA men’s and women’s brackets, please visit cccaasports.org.