Apaches 83 Bears 72
Cochise College ended the season with their 16th straight win as they beat the Phoenix College Bears by a margin of 11 points. Both team’s styles made for an entertaining night of basketball the included a faced paced offense and defensive pressure. The Bears came out hot early converting on 5 of their first seven possessions taking an early 10-1 lead. The Apaches were able to settle down after Jerry Carrillo, head coach called a timeout. The Apaches then went on a 21-6 run to take the lead midway through the first half. The Bears didn’t let that stop them from attacking both ends of the floor. Phoenix was able to get extra shots due to offensive rebounding well and making every free throw attempt in the first half. The Bears took a two-point lead into the half at 43-41.
The Apaches adjusted nicely after the locker room meeting at halftime and were able to control the glass. The Apaches limited the Bears to only one shot each time down the court and were able to get out and run. Freshman, Chris Whitaker lead the Apaches attack on the offensive end with 25 points adding five rebounds. Three other Apaches hit double figures as Naje Smith had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Jamaure Gregg and freshman Milan Szabo added ten apiece. Darnell Robateau was the floor general all night for the Apaches. Robateau was able to handle the Bear’s pressure and make good decisions with the ball accumulating a stat line that filled the box score. Robateau ended the night with eight points seven rebounds eight assist and six steals.
The Apaches finished the season with a record of 26-4 (20-2) and a national ranking of #17 in the final National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll of the season.
“We came out in the second half and defended well. We were able to limit them to one shot and get out in transition,” Head Coach, Jerry Carrillo said. “Darnell’s floor game was special tonight. He was in control the entire game and led us to our 16th straight win. I am happy for our team. We will take this momentum into Championship week in hopes to bring home the Region I title.”