SRJC ready to make deep playoff run


Santa Rosa Junior College's Bobby Sharp was named Big Eight player of the year. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Bobby Sharp was named Big Eight player of the year. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Bobby Sharp, who made 50 percent of his 3-point shots while leading conference champion Santa Rosa JC in scoring, has been named Big Eight player of the year.

Sharp, who will be in action tonight when his team hosts Chabot in the CCCAA Northern California Regional, averaged 17 points in the regular season. The sophomore was also effective from inside the arc where he connected on 49 percent of his shots, and the free throw line where he nailed 82 percent of his attempts.

Two other SRJC men were voted to the all-conference first team — Max Fujii and Connor Gillett. Xavier McCall and Jajuan Hammond received honorable mention plaudits.

McCall and Sharp were teammates at Cardinal Newman and Fujii was All-Empire Player of the Year at Analy. Gillett is from La Mirada, and Hammond from Fresno.

The Bear Cubs women’s team, co-champions of the Big Eight, are represented by Whitney Edens (Cloverdale) and Arianna Hanson (Rincon Valley Christian) on the all-conference first team.

The women’s team will play the first game of the doubleheader tonight at Haehl Pavilion. They’ll host San Jose City College (12-16) at 5:30 p.m. The Bear Cubs (24-6) are the No. 1 seed in the NorCal Regionals.

The No. 4-seeded men, sporting a 25-5 record and eight-game winning streak, finished atop the Big Eight. Their game against No. 13 Chabot (14-13) is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.

Craig McMillan feels his fellow coaches made the right choice in picking Sharp for the conference’s biggest honor.

“Besides his great shooting touch, he does so many other things well,” McMillan said. “In his two years at the JC, he’s become an outstanding defender and rarely turns the ball over.”

Sharp, who is 6-foot and weighs 170 pounds, is drawing interest from Division I schools and has been contacted by Hawaii, UC Riverside and Portland.

Sharp was at practice when he learned he was getting the award.

“It’s exciting to be recognized like this,” he said.

Sharp believes his game has improved since his days at Cardinal Newman.

“I have a much better basketball IQ,” he said. “On offense, I’ve learned to read screens and my timing making the right plays has improved. I’ve also stepped up my defense.”

Fujii, who plays point guard, averaged only one turnover per game and shot 88 percent from the free throw line. Gillett, a power forward, averages eight rebounds a game.

Women’s coach Lacey Campbell was surprised only two of her players were selected for conference honors.

“It was disappointing because we had an extremely balanced team,” she said. “I thought we’d get another couple of players on at least the honorable mention list.” Edens averaged 10.5 points per game and Hanson 9.6.

“Last year as a freshman, Edens was our defensive stopper,” Campbell said. “This year, she’s stepped up on both sides of the ball. Hanson was mostly unstoppable when she got the ball in the paint. She also averaged nearly five blocks per game and was all-around solid.”

The men and the women will each need to win three games to advance to the state tournament March 15-17 at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.

If they win tonight, the men will have at least one more home game. The women would play a total of three times at Haehl, if they keep winning.

Comments are closed.