Knights fall short in heartbreaker to San Francisco


Yakira Delgadillo

Head Coach Mitch Charlens encouraging his players during half-time against their game to the Pirates of Ventura College at the Harry West Gymnasium.

Yakira Degadillo, Sports Writer

March 23, 2018

The San Diego City College Knights Men’s Basketball season came to a heartbreaking end on March 11, finishing with a 33-3 record. The Knights made it to the championship game for the second year in a row but fell short of bringing the championship home. They lost to City College San Francisco 82-72.


“I don’t want my season to be over. I was trying to put my team in the best position,” said sophomore guard Robert McCoy.


For the second consecutive season the City College Men’s Basketball qualified to the Elite Eight after their victory over Ventura College.


The Sweet Sixteen matchup between the Knights (30-2) and the Pirates (22-8) took place at the Harry West Gymnasium on March 3. With 254 fans in assistance both teams had their playoff goals on the line.


“It’s unreal. You don’t win 31 games last year and again 31 games this year, and then win state title and make it back to the Elite Eight. They don’t know how hard it is to do what they are doing,” said Head Coach Mitch Charlens.


First half of the game the Ventura College took the 49-45 lead over the Knights. With a 4-point deficit, the Knights finished the first 20 minutes it appeared they were not playing their best.


In the second half both teams stepped up their game, 14 minutes into the half the game was tied 58-58.


City College sophomore guard Adrian Byrd-Jalenik dunked the ball into the net giving the 60-58 lead to the Knights.


The Pirates would not let the Knights take the lead for long, seconds later Ventura College freshman forward Darrell Handy-Johnson came back with a dunk to tie the game up gain 60-60.


Both teams scored back to back, keeping the game tied until the 11 minute mark. Ventura Pirate sophomore guard Isiah Reyes recovered the ball on Knight territory and attempted a 3-pointer but just missed the rim.


“It’s never over. It was a grind all game. It was tough game and just know that anything can happen until the last second says zero zero,” said McCoy.


McCoy put his shooting outside the free throw line to the test. He quickly set himself up for a three point shot, made and gave the 77-63 lead to the Knights. The fans quickly jumped to their feet and celebrated the lead. The City College men’s basketball team bench jumped out of their seats, rushed to center court and congratulated McCoy.


The Pirates would not give up without a fight. With nine minutes left McCoy put two more points on the board cutting the Knight lead 75-63.


With seven minutes left in the game the Knights and McCoy secured their spot in the quarter finals by adding 12 more points on the scoreboard and taking the victory. McCoy 20 scored out of the 46 points in the second half and tied his career high of 32 points. He brought down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots.


“Heart racing, exciting, undescribable to be honest. It’s an amazing feeling to go back to the elite eight again,” said McCoy.   


His points helped the Knights 91-84 victory over the Pirates and their 24th consecutive win.


“I don’t teach them anything, they are amazing kids. That’s it. Ventura is a really great team. We didn’t play our best, they were tough enough to win,” said Coach Charlens.