The comets may have been undersized in terms of height, but not in terms of core and restlessness
The Comets men’s basketball team beat Cabrillo College in their first home game of the season on Tuesday night, improving their overall record to 4-0 in what has been an uphill battle between the teams.
“This game showed a lot of character in our young team,” said Comets head coach Miguel Johnson.
The Comets only have one sophomore on the team, John Wade II, so Johnson’s experience will be put to the test. Yet so far Johnson’s skills – as well as those of the young squad – shine brightly as they take first place in the Bay Valley Conference standings.
To start the season, the Comets traveled to College Las Positas two weeks ago to compete in the Tony Costello Tip-Off tournament, where they beat Siskiyous, Butte and Sacramento City colleges in three straight days.
So far, spirited defensive performances pave the way for all games for the Comets, holding three of their top four opponents under 70 points.
Last night in particular, the Comets amassed twelve interceptions, double the amount collected by Cabrillo College. Six of the scans are courtesy of John Wade ll.
The bench also gave the Comets a boost, scoring 35 points against just 17 points for the Cabrillo College bench.
“We all played together, the bench gave us good minutes and a lot of energy,” said rookie Comet Prime Payton.
“Kareem Howze came on the bench and gave us a nice spark, especially defensively,” said Johnson.
The Comets were able to quickly take a double-digit lead, causing a timeout from the Cabrillo College head coach, who could be heard assuring his players: “We’re a lot better than these guys, they don’t. have no size. “
Still, the Comets’ small size didn’t stop them from showing a determination throughout the game that even Cabrillo’s head coach could appreciate, as he praised some Comet players after a great game.
Taking a seven point lead at halftime, the Comets were in a good position but were not satisfied.
“We were a little disappointed before half-time after letting them come back,” Payton said.
At the start of the second half, Cabrillo College ignited three points as a team and took a one point lead. However, the Comets weathered the storm with their own three-point barrage, giving them a twelve-point advantage midway through second frame.
In the final ten minutes of the game, the Comets held Cabrillo College scoreless on offense for about five minutes of play, cementing what would be their fourth straight win.
However, it was not without drama. Both benches were very loud and engaged at the end of the match.
“It got a little loud, these guys were saying things, we were saying things,” Johnson said.
With one minute remaining in the game, a technical foul was imposed on John Wade ll for swinging his elbows in an attempt to free up space, a relatively new rule that was instituted by the California Community College Athletic Association for the player safety.
Wade’s elbow made contact with a Cabrillo College player’s face, knocking him down and prompting the benches of both teams to clear as they collided with the face where the play occurred. As the screams and anger quickly escalated, the referees temporarily cleared the pitch to allow each coach to set up their players separately.
When all was said and done, Johnson and his team came away with a 78-65 victory and first-year guard Miles Lewis led the way in scoring with eighteen points.
When asked what could be cleaned up by the team in the future, Johnson said the Comets “need to improve the offensive execution” and Payton noted that the players “need to talk to each other more, to communicate better” .
Ahead, the Comets’ next two games will be in a tournament at the College of San Mateo this weekend, against Merced College on Saturday and Gavilan College on Sunday, with both games starting at 12 p.m.
After the San Mateo tournament, the Comets will begin a long, 16-day game-less streak as they wait to face Butte College for the second time this season on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in San Pablo.