Rams’ win 17 years in the making

Gavilan shocks San Jose City
The Gavilan Rams shocked the San Jose City College Jaguars 62-58 Friday night as the second round of Coast Conference play began for both teams at Bud Ottmar Memorial Gymnasium.

Curtis Lilly sliced to 19 points as the Rams moved to 2-5 in conference action, 10-12 overall. The Jaguars, losing for the first time in 17 seasons to Gavilan, dipped to 4-3 in conference play and 18-4 overall.

“It was real simple,” said 30-year Jaguars coach Percy Carr about the showdown. “Gavilan played a much better game than we did. (Coach) Chris (Shoemaker) has done an excellent job with this program.”

Shoemaker, in his third campaign at Gavilan, considered Friday’s decision as big a victory as any this season.

“Especially coming off a tough overtime loss to DeAnza two nights before, for our guys to put that loss behind them was special.

“We had some trouble bringing the ball upcourt against their pressure in the first half,” added Shoemaker. “We were able to handle their pressure in the second half, then made a lot of layups by beating their defense. I’ve preached to the players that when teams trap you, you should be able to get a good shot because it’s a 4-on-3 everywhere else.”

The Rams headed the coach’s advice in the second half by hitting on 63 per cent of their shots in the final 20 minutes. Despite shooting only 31 per cent in the first half, the Rams trailed only 25-24 at the intermission. San Jose helped out with 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes and shot just 29 per cent before the break.

Gavilan waited until 4:59 of play to hit the scoreboard, Lilly flipping in a shot from under the hoop off a Ron Colman feed. Gavilan pulled even at 15-15 on two Colman free throws following a bench technical on the Jaguars. Andre Hayes put Gavilan up 18-15 with a three-pointer from the right flank with 5:30 to go in the half.

The teams traded the lead five times in the final half. San Jose built a six-point spread, 36-30, on a Tristan King 3-pointer with 15:19 left. Gavilan regained the lead for good with 4:53 left when, for the second time in a five-minute span, Jon Morrison turned a steal in the backcourt into a fastbreak dunk for a 52-51 edge.

Center Adrian Zamora went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe as Gavilan held off the Jaguar charge in the final three minutes. Guard Broc Sondgroth hit a six-foot jumper and Lilly added a final slashing layup to seal the win.

Morrison and Zamora each finished with 14 points. Jamon Hill, dropping in four 3’s, paced the Jags with 24 points. King followed with 22.

“Morrison had a tremendous impact, especially on the defensive end,” added Shoemaker. “It was a special night for Lilly, whose parents were in town from Iowa. Zamora controlled the middle well.

“Our bench contributed alot. It was a collective win.”

The Rams host Monterey Peninsula College Wednesday, then play at Hartnell Saturday night.

San Jose – 25 33 58

Gavilan – 24 38 62

San Jose – Hill 9 2-2 24, Cyphers 1 0-0 2, King 5 10-12 22, Conyers 1 2-2 4, Lee 3 0-0 6.

Gavilan – Sondgroth 1 0-0 2, Morrison 7 0-0 14, Wells 1 0-0 2, Lilly 7 5-8 19, Colman 0 2-2 2, Zamora 4 6-6 14, Hayes 4 0-0 9.

Three-point field goals: Hill 4, King 2, Hayes 1.