The Columbia College basketball team's "Slap in the Face Tour," otherwise known as the Northern California basketball playoffs, get underway tonight at American River College where the No. 19-seed Claim Jumpers will face the No. 14-seed Beavers.
Despite finishing with a better overall record (19-12 to 16-15) and a better conference record (9-5 to 6-4), the Claim Jumpers somehow ended up with the lower seed than the Beavers, which is why Columbia is in Sacramento tonight instead of Oak Pavilion.
"Well, we're going to have to wins games no matter where we are," Columbia coach Andy Vasher said. "I figured that's who we'd play. I just figured it would be here instead of there."
If the Jumpers can turn the seeding slight into motivation, they'll have a much better chance of stopping all-Bay Valley East guard Damian Carter, who averaged 17.1 points per game for the Beavers on 51-perfect shooting.
Carter is joined in the backcourt by Adam Gilbert, who averaged 7.0 ppg while shooting 35 percent from the 3-point line.
Up front, American River features the brothers Henning, Joel and Sam, who averaged 10.9 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
In addition to his double-digit scoring, Sam also led the BVE in rebounds (12.8 per game) while shooting 75 percent from the free throw line, recording 2.2 steals per game and even dishing out 3.2 assists per game.
Forward Marlow Rockwell (11.5 ppg) rounds out the starting five.
While four double-digit scorers and a 73.0 per game scoring average shows the Beavers are capable of lighting up a scoreboard, Columbia actually has the statistical edge.
While Derek Olich (15.9 ppg) and Kevin Massey (11.4 ppg) are the Jumpers' only double-digit scorers, three others averaged at least 9.2 ppg for Columbia, which scores at a clip of 80.8 ppg.