Continuing in our series on community college teams: Up Rancho Las Positas way, going big or going small doesn’t seem to make any difference for Coach James Giacomazzi who continues being successful with whatever degree of size he has on his roster in a given year. Last season, 6-foot-9 Anand Hundal and 6-foot-10 Peter Hewitt, both eventual D1 transfers, were critical to the success of the Hawks. In 2018-19, it’s solid guard play and the feats of wunderkind 6-foot-4 freshman Michael Hayes primarily carrying the team.
Where do the Rams currently stand?
In 15 games, LPC currently sports a 12-3 record with a 60-46 victory November 10 road win over Cabrillo College being the standout success. In a tournament at Skyline College, Gavilan College took down the Hawks 90-82. Note: CCSF comes to Livermore on January 23 and Las Positas hits The City on February 15.
Las Positas is shooting 51% overall thus far, a terrific number for a smallish team, versus 43% for opponents. 33% from long distance to 29% plus 83.4 points per game against 73.4 allowed. Again despite lacking size, the Hawks are earning a very solid just 25.9 free throw attempts a night (against 18.9) as well as possessing a 12.3+ rebound margin.
The primary contributors:
The aforementioned Hayes has stepped right in from the high school ranks and adjusted quickly averaging 23.6 points (third in the state), 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 61%, 23% and 70% (7.3 free throw attempts per contest). At 6-foot-4, his long distance accuracy needs bettering for the next level. 6-foot-5 sophomore Alafia Oluwosogo is at 12.2 points plus 5.7 boards. 5-foot-10 sophomore guard John Ketchel is the final player scoring in double figures at 10.8 points.
Five other Hawks are providing 7.0 points or higher on a nightly basis. In total, four are contributing 3.0 assists or more with Ketchel in the lead at a state best 7.1 and a quartet of LPC talents are bringing down at least 3.5 boards nightly.
Hayes and three sophomores, Nana Appiah, Ketchel, Oluwosogo, are the primary starters.
Theoretically, Las Positas should not be doing as well in both its overall record or statistics simply due to the absence of size. However, no program in the northern California community college ranks possesses overwhelming size this season but, more importantly, the Hawks are playing unselfishly and with a willingness to be led by a frosh plus Ketchel at the point. Credit Giacomazzi, Associate Head Coach Jordan Whittenburg and Assistant Coach Spencer Wood as well as the players for this LPC success so far.
The LPC roster: (note that each is from northern California)
- Decaurey Brown G 6’0 160 Fr Oakland CA / Newark Memorial HS
- Alvon Marshall G 6’0 180 So Oakland CA / San Leandro HS
- Goose Persin G 6’0 180 So San Jose CA / Piedmont Hills HS
- John Ketchel G 6’1 175 So Discovery Bay CA / Freedom HS
- Tyler Langowski G 5’10 160 Fr Livermore CA / Livermore HS
- Marc Starling G 6’3 185 Fr Tracy CA / Tracy HS
- Nana Appiah G 6’5 200 So Patterson CA / Patterson HS
- Michael Hayes G 6’4 200 Fr Tracy CA / West HS
- Alafia Oluwosogo F 6’5 210 So Fremont CA / American HS
- Wesley Burse F 6’5 190 Fr Modesto CA / Enochs HS
- Elan Spencer F 6’10 220 So Stockton CA / Lincoln HS
Sayeed (El Cerrito High) Pridgett filled the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists but Montana fell 78-71 to host Eastern Washington. The latter was led by Jesse (Drake High) Hunt’s 15 boards.
Powered by six players scoring in double figures, Chico State downed visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills 87-67. Isaiah (Sheldon High) Brooks led with 18, Justin (River City High) Briggs enjoyed 15, Nate (Fortuna High) Ambrosini and Calvin (San Marin High) Geraci both tallied 14, Spencer (Monte Vista High) LaShells had 11 and Kevin Warren contributed 10. Andrew (Hamilton High/Butte College) Whitsett led DH with 17 points.
Justin (Buchanan High) Everett shot 6-10 from the floor and 9-9 at the foul line in leading Humboldt State to an 84-76 win over visiting Cal State Los Angeles.
Juwan (Bishop O’Dowd) Anderson scored 18 points but Cal State East Bay fell to Cal Poly Pomona 68-56 down in the Southland.
Hawaii hosted and turned away Cal State Fullerton 79-68 with Eddie (Archbishop Riordan) Stansberry providing 16 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Fresno State nabbed a 78-77 road win over Utah State as Noah (Woodcreek High) Blackwell accounting for 13 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
A 60-27 Fresno City College second half carried the Rams to a 102-57 victory over host West Hills Coalinga as Jared Small led the victors in scoring with 18 points. He also provided five rebounds, five assists and four steals. full box
Powered in part by a 54-29 initial half, host City College San Francisco belted Skyline College 96-61. Deschon Winston led the Rams with 22 points followed by Niamey (Mission High) Harris’ 18. CCSF box
Host Gavilan College had little trouble versus Hartnell College to the tune of 83-55 as DJ (Valley Christian) Burgess led the way with 23 points. Gavilan box
With Michael Hayes and Alafia Oluwosogo each posting 23 point, nine rebound lines, visiting Las Positas College defeated Foothill College 73-65. LPC box
Trey (Harbor High) Whitley’s 19 points paced Cabrillo College to a 72-47 defeat of host San Jose City College.
A 51-36 second 20 minutes carried visiting Chabot College to a 75-67 success over Cañada College as Jabari (Sacramento High) Sweet led the winners with 21 points (plus eight boards and three blocks) while teammate Jordan (James Logan High) McGlory posted a 16/17 scoring/rebounding double-double. Chabot box
American River College 105 – LJ Smith 40, Tom Edwards 30, Parker Haven 17, Jermaine Henderson 12, Pim Lewis 6
Modesto Junior College 100 – Isaiah Harris 25, Benny Simi 17, Justin Watkins 16, Tommy Williams 11, Brandon Lamb 9, Isaac Starks 8, Carson Anderson 8, Austin Denham 4, Kharyem Mitchell 2
3-Pt. Goals: American 12 (Smith 6, Edwards 5, Henderson), Modesto 11 (Watkins 3, Lamb 3, Starks 2, Simi 2, Williams)
A shooting guard, Williams stands 6-foot-3. A Williams article from June 2018.
The 6-foot-9 Hawkins is at Findlay Prep for his senior season.
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