Apaches will host AWC Matadors on Saturday.
Cochise College men’s basketball came into Tuesday night needing a win to clinch the top seed in the Region I Playoffs starting Saturday night. Clutch three’s late in the game by Freshman Patrick Samoura and QuayShawn Gentry, made that a reality as the Apaches came away with an 88-83 win. The win moved the Apaches to 23-7 overall and 17-5 in the ACCAC, giving Cochise their 8th ACCAC Title under Head Coach Jerry Carrillo.
A back and forth game all night saw both teams hold leads in the first half with Cochise finally settling with a 38-36 halftime lead. After holding a ten-point lead late in the second half, a Phoenix College rally would see them take the lead 76-75 with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Cochise would keep its poise Samoura, and Gentry would hit big three’s. Sophomore’s Naje Smith, Damon Wall, and Freshman Arion Lewis would seal the game with clutch free throws.
Sophomore Naje Smith led all scorers with a game-high 30 points, followed by Freshman Arion Lewis pouring in 22 points with five made three’s.
“This has been a fun year in the sense that this team has allowed us to coach them and try different things to get the most out of them all year,” Cochise Head Coach Jerry Carrillo said. “Starting after Christmas break, we, as coaches, really fought for our culture and wanted the guys to know what it meant to wear that Cochise jersey. They bought in, kept improving, and because of that, they are ACCAC Champions. Now we have a great opportunity to win a Region I title.”
Stat(s) of the Night
Cochise shot 60% FG for the night
The Apaches are the number one seed in the upcoming Region I Playoffs and will host the Arizona Western College Matadors on Saturday, February 29, at 7:00 p.m.