Men’s Basketball opens 2019-2020 season with pair of convincing wins

Cochise College men’s basketball team gets big contributions from multiple players to start 2-0.

The Apaches started the 2019-2020 season with two double-digit victories beating Northern New Mexico University JV (NNMJV) 133-65 and Hillcrest Prep Post Grad 116-85.

In the game against NNMJV, the Apaches opened up a 21-3 lead in the first 4 minutes of the game with high defensive energy and continued to apply the pressure taking a 65-38 lead into the halftime break. After exchanging baskets to start the 2nd half, the Apaches went on an explosive 23-0 run over the span of almost 7 minutes to blow the game open. Sophomore Milan Szabo poured in a career-high 28 points while fellow sophomore Naje Smith chipped in 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore transfer Damon Wall had a great night directing the offense with 12 assists while freshman Arion Lewis had an impressive college debut with 21 points, five assists, and four rebounds. 

The next night, in the game against Hill Crest, saw the Runnin’ Apaches hold a slim 29-22 lead midway through the 1st half when key defensive stops led to transition points allowing Cochise to stretch a 7 point lead into a 58-35 halftime advantage. The lead would slowly stretch to 35 before finishing with the 31 point advantage. Freshman Arion Lewis once again had a solid night scoring 23 points to go along with ten assists while fellow newcomers Donte DuPriest (23 points) and Kyle Moore (20 points, 10-12 FG) stepped up with significant contributions. Returning sophomore Aaron Garcia made his first collegiate start and chipped in 19 points while going 6-7 from the free-throw line. Freshman Patrick Samoura contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds in a solid all-around game.

“Our coaching staff thought we had great defensive energy to open up the season vs. Northern New Mexico. We shared the ball well and limited our turnovers,” Cochise Head Coach Jerry Carrillo said. “The next game vs. Hillcrest was good for us as we had multiple freshmen step up, which we will need them to continue to do if we want to achieve our goals as the season moves on.” 

 Stat(s) of the Weekend

The Apaches averaged 33 assists per night while combining to shoot almost 68% from the floor for the weekend.

Notes

This is the sixth straight year that the Apaches have opened up 2-0.

 Up Next

The Apaches host Taylor Made Prep on Monday, November 4, at the Stronghold Gymnasium on the Douglas Campus. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 P.M.