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Columbia hoopsters stun Yuba

The Columbia Claim Jumpers mens’ basketball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in program history.

Columbia knocked off Yuba City, ranked No. 4 in the state’s Top 20 ranking, 83-82 in overtime at the 76th Modesto JC Basketball Tourney. 

Columbia fell behind early, but clawed right back with some outstanding 3-point shooting from Rafe King, Marcus Junior, Robert Orantes and Daniel Radford.

“Played well together,” said Columbia head coach Rob Hoyt. “It was a great effort. We held on with them. We went punch for punch.”

Down by one with less than 20 seconds remaining, Junior drove to the basket and made a great left handed shot in the key for the game-winning field goal in overtime.  

Yuba City brought the ball, working for a shot, but Radford tipped the ball out of play with 4.9 seconds left.  

Then the Claim Jumper defense stood firm on the next Yuba possession and forced a difficult 3-point shot that did not go in as the horn sounded.

Yuba had the advantage on the boards but the consistent   effort of Tige Wingo, who fouled out with 6:30 in the game, Rosendo AmayaWood and Ian Merzwinski kept Columbia in the game.

Orantes, who was injured against the College of Marin contest, played excellent from his guard position in his return.

“Overall, they just kept fighting,” Hoyt said. “It’s a gritty group. They stepped up to the challenge. They did a really good job. I’m proud of them. When we needed it, they shot really well. Guys were shooting with confidence. They weren’t afraid. It’s just a game for them. They want to win.”

Columbia (6-4) will again on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. against the winner of the Lassen College or Sacramento City College matchup.

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