Game Preview: CCCAA Regional Round One
The Citrus College Men's Basketball was given the #17 seed in the 2013 California Community College Men's Basketball Southern California playoffs. The Owls will be on the road starting Wednesday when they take on #16 Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM
About the Matchup
Wednesday night's game will be the fifth overall meeting between Citrus College and Cuesta College in the post-season, and the fourth since the 2006-2007 season. The two teams first squared off back in 1997 in the second round. That year, the Cougars bested the Owls 118-83, eventually advancing to the State Championships for the first and only time in school history.
The two schools then met up again in 2007 this time in Glendora. That meeting was a first round match-up that saw the Owls prevail 68-57. In 2010, Citrus again hosted Cuesta, this time in the Regional Finals. The Owls came away victorious that 82-80, advancing to the CCCAA Elite Eight, the last year they took four teams from the North and South to the CCCAA State Championships.
The two teams also met on the hardwood last year, again in the Owls' Nest. Citrus defeated Cuesta last season in the Regional Semi-Finals 83-79. Current sophomore Kerry Carter scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, and handed out a pair of assists in the win for Citrus. Cuesta has three players from last year's team that played in that game, in Kenny Robinson (18 points, 6 assists), Plamen Hristov (3 points, 8 rebounds), and Jeremy Landenbergue (8 points).
About the Cougars
As usual, Cuesta is a talented group with an international flare. Seven of their ten players hail from overseas, including their leading scorer and rebounder Hristov (Sofia, Bulgaria), and their top freshman Oscar Pedroso (Porto, Portugal). Their best American born player is sophomore Kenny Robinson, who went to King Drew High School in Los Angeles.
Cuesta finished the regular season with an 18-13 overall record and 5-5 mark in the tough Western State Conference North Division, good enough for fourth place. The WSC North finished up with four teams in the post-season, the highest percentage of teams from a conference in Southern California. The Cougars are headed into the playoffs off a loss, albeit to the #2 seed in SoCal Ventura College. The Pirates defeated Cuesta 84-74 last Saturday.
Last Time Out
The Owls head into the post-season with a small three game winning streak headed into the playoffs. The biggest of the three was a 77-71 victory over College of the Canyons, who earned the #6 seed in the SoCal Playoffs, at Canyons in the Championship Game of the Western State Conference South Division Tournament 77-71. Sophomore Steven Thornton Jr. a season high 27 points in helping lead the Owls to the win.
Citrus In the Post-Season
There has arguably been no more successful team in the CCCAA Post-Season, since the 2007-2008 season then the Citrus College Men's Basketball team. The Owls are 16-4 in the playoffs in that stretch including an impressive 11-1 mark at Citrus College. The Owls have qualified for four CCCAA Final Fours in that stretch, two State Championship Games, and won the schools only State Championship in basketball. The Owls have not played a true road game in that stretch though, and are just 5-3 on a neutral floor.
Coach Vic Says
How To Follow
There are two ways to follow the Citrus College Men's Basketball team at Cuesta College on Wednesday evening. The first is to attend in person at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Admission will be charged for the contest.
The second is to follow @ccfightingowls on Twitter, where we will be posting periodic updates.