Hoops on the hills – Men’s basketball team finishes fourth overall in the San Francisco Tournament to begin the season

David Pradel, Sports Editor

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The San Diego City College men’s basketball team began their season by traveling up north to compete in the San Francisco Tournament where the Knights finished fourth overall.

“It was the toughest tournament in the state of California; out of the eight teams, there were four (teams) in the past four years that were State Champions and one that was the State runner-up so five of these eight teams were the best teams in California — it was crazy,” said Head Coach Mitch Charlens.

City College began the tournament on Nov. 7 with a 74-64 win against Napa Valley College. The Knights were led by sophomore point guard Christian Jones who recorded 21 points and went 10 for 14 from the field and had 5 steals in the team’s first game to start the season.

The following day, the Knights lost 58-68 against Marin College who is a top ten team in the state. Sophomore guard Caleb Singleton went 4 for 7 from the 3-point line and recorded 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

“We didn’t play well but we still had a chance — it was a two point game with I think two minutes left. It should’ve been our game but we had to foul at the end and (Marin College) got the points in late,” Charlens said.

Following the tough lost, the Knights moved on in the tournament to face Fresno City College for third place. The Knights were up by five with a few minutes to go in the game but after a couple of bad calls the game was tied at 66 with 1.4 seconds left. After failed attempts to get the ball in play by Fresno City College, they were able to squeeze the ball in and at the buzzer sank a three to win the game, 69-66.

In the lost, Knights big man Stacey Lambert recorded 8 rebounds and went 7 for 10 from the field and scored 16 points.

“I was really impressed with the way Stacey stepped up,” said sophomore guard Caleb Singleton. “He played big for us and we needed him to do that. Our big man presence last year wasn’t there but Stacey definitely stepped up and got buckets down in the paint.”

“We competed and from the first game to the last game I feel like we definitely improved but overall this tournament proved that we are not a finished product. We are still trying to get used to each other and learning how to mesh with each other — we got new pieces on the team and we are building (chemistry) on and off the court,” Singleton said.

Charlens expressed that going 1-2 in the tournament and having a chance to win every game against great competition was a good way to start the season.

Last year the team were crowned the Pacific Coast – South Athletic Conference champions and went undefeated in conference play. Head Coach Mitch Charlens was named Coach of the Year and guard Caleb Singleton was named Co-MVP with former Knights player Martin Thomas.