The Columbia College Claim Jumpers improved to a 10-2 record with two road wins last week, holding onto a coveted second-place position before a match-up against first-place Fresno City College at home on Wednesday.
“We have our work cut out for us. We were right there with them at Fresno last time, we just missed some tough shots,” said assistant coach Rick Francis. “If we can hit some shots here at home and play like we’re capable of playing, we’re going to give them a heck of game.”
The Claim Jumpers lost to Fresno City College 72-61 at their last matchup, an away game on Jan. 16.
Francis said the team was confident in their chances against Fresno, however, based on their recent four-game winning streak.
“There was some adversity, but they don’t panic, they just play. We run our offense and do the things were supposed to do. Our defense was outstanding too. I think they feel good,” Francis said.
On Saturday, the Claim Jumpers won 79-75 in a tight match against Merced College.
The game notably included a 37-point game from sophomore guard Maurice Woods (which included seven 3-point shots) — his highest scoring game to date. Freshman guard Landis Spivey added 15 points, Francis said.
On Wednesday the Claim Jumpers beat West Hills Coalinga 71-68. Sophomore forward Yosnier Cobas earned 19 points, Woods had 17 points and freshman guard Seth Coddington had 16 points.
“Those are very difficult places to play,” Francis said. “Both games were very close and our guys did what they were supposed to do.”
The Claim Jumpers have four games left in the season before they are seeded for playoffs.
“You hope you do well the last four games so you can start with a home playoff game,” Francis said.
On Wednesday, the Claim Jumpers will face Fresno City College at 6 p.m. at home. On Saturday, they will travel to Reedley College in Reedley.
Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.