15 game win streak keeps the momentum for Cochise College.
Saturday night at the Stronghold gym was a special night for the Apache men’s basketball team. The final home game of the year was nothing short of entertaining from start to finish. The future graduates of the program were honored before the game, and they ended their final season as Apaches with a perfect record on their home court at 15-0. This was also the team’s 15th in a row win.
The game started in favor of the Apaches as they came out early and got stops on the defensive end. A half-court alley-oop from point guard Darnell Robateau to sophomore forward Justus Rainwater caused the Gauchos of Glendale to call an early time out to gather themselves. Head Coach Guy Meyer, a former Apache assistant, settled his Glendale team down which led the Gauchos to start raining threes and playing hard on the defensive end. The Gauchos owned the remainder of the first half being up by as much as 12 points. The teams entered their locker rooms at halftime with a score of 42-35 in favor of the Gauchos.
The second half was a different story. The Apaches came out with their foot on the petal and never wavered. A 15-0 run to start the second half gave momentum to the Apaches, and they ran with it the rest of the way. Chris Whitaker’s two early steals that lead to easy buckets in transition started the 64-point half for Cochise.
Sophomore point guard Darnell Robateau led the Apaches with 27 points that included five threes’, five rebounds and five assists. Chris Whitaker chipped in with 21 points of his own, while Naje Smith followed with 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore big men, Jamaure Gregg, and Justus Rainwater both ended up in double figures with 15 and 12 points respectively. The Apaches were able to turn the Gauchos over 23 times and hold them to 27% shooting from the field of play ending the game with a score of 99-81.
“Our integrity on the defensive end in the second half was outstanding. Our guys know how to answer the challenges we present to them and tonight (Saturday) they showed that in the second half,” Head Coach Jerry Carrillo said. “I’m happy that we get to send our future graduates off with a win and a perfect record at home. We need to take this momentum we’ve had all 2019 and keep it going as we host the region tournament starting March 2nd.”
The Apaches take on Phoenix College on the road in their final game of the regular season and look for their 16th win in a row. The Apaches will host the Region I tournament starting March 2nd.