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The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics, Feb. 26 - Mar. 4: Men's Basketball Heads to San Bernardino for Regional Final; Baseball Opens Homestand Tuesday

The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics, Feb. 26 - Mar. 4: Men's Basketball Heads to San Bernardino for Regional Final; Baseball Opens Homestand Tuesday

It promises to be an exciting week of action for Hancock athletics. The wet forecast has resulted in the softball game at Santa Barbara being pushed back to Wednesday and baseball's home game against Taft moved up from Thursday to Wednesday. The men's basketball team will battle San Bernardino on the road Saturday in the program's first regional final since the 1989-90 season. Read about all of the upcoming action below:

This Week: California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Regional Playoffs
Saturday, March 3 @ San Bernardino Valley, 7 p.m. – Southern Regional Finals

The Hancock men's basketball team continues its postseason run at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at San Bernardino Valley College. Hancock is the No. 10 seed in the Southern Regional and SBVC is seeded No. 2. Coming off their first playoff win since 2001, the Bulldogs are 22-9 overall, reaching their highest single-season win total in 17 years.

Hancock will be playing in its first regional final since the 1989-90 season.

Last week, the Bulldogs traveled to No. 8 Fullerton and upset the Hornet 70-67 in overtime to capture their first playoff victory since 2001. Devin Davis (El Cerrito) led the way with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Shane Carney (Narbonne HS) and Glenn Jordan (Curtis HS) added 15 points apiece in the victory. Hancock trailed by as many as seven points in the second half, but went on an 11-0 run to take its first lead since the first few minutes of the game. Fullerton, the No. 7 seed, came all the way and led by two points in the final minute. Davis scored the game-tying bucket with less than 30 seconds to go, and the Hornets missed two shots in the final five seconds to send it to overtime. Carney and Jordan both hit three 3-pointers in the game. Carney upped his season total to 95 3-pointers made this season and broke the program record for most career 3-pointers made with 153. Shemarr Parker (Santa Maria HS) added six points and five rebounds, while Trenton Mitchell (El Diamante HS) added five points and eight boards.

San Bernardino is 27-4 overall and riding a 14-game winning streak. SBVC won the Pacific Coast Conference's North Division with a perfect 10-0 mark. The Wolverines came from behind to beat No. 18 Antelope Valley 87-81 in overtime during last week's regional semifinals. Kevin McNeal made three free throws with two seconds remaining to force overtime. He was fouled on a desperation 3-point shot. Tymoryae Glover led the Wolverines with 27 points and McNeal added 26 points and seven rebounds. Chidi Udengwu pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds and Tuele Williams scored 14 points. SBVC shot 43 percent from the field, went 2-for-13 from 3-point range, but hit 31 of its 38 free throws or 82 percent.

Overall, McNeal, a guard, is the team's leading scorer at 13.5 points per game and shooting 52.5 percent from the field. Kendall Lauderdale ranks second with 12.5 points per game and shooting 55 percent from the field. Craig LeCesne puts in 11 points per game. The Wolverines average 79.5 points per game and limit opponents to a state-best 52.3 points and 36.9 field goal percentage.

Four Bulldogs average at least 10 points per game led by Carney at 16.9 points. The sophomore guard averages 3.1 3-pointers made and 5.3 assists per game. Davis averages 11.2 points, followed by Jordan at 10.5 points and Spirit Ricks at 10.3 points. Both Davis and Ricks average 7.0 rebounds per game.

Hancock and San Bernardino will be playing for the first time since meeting at a tournament hosted by College of the Sequoias in December 2013.

The Hancock College Boosters, Inc. is sponsoring a rooter bus to take Bulldog fans to the game at SBVC. The bus will depart from the gym on Saturday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. It will cost $25 for adults to cover a seat on the bus and admission to the game. Students can reserve a spot for $10 to pay for a ticket to the game. To reserve a spot, please email or call (805) 922-6966 ext. 3227.

This Week:
Tuesday, Feb. 27 vs. College of the Sequoias, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28 vs. Taft, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 3 @ College of the Sequoias, 1 p.m.

The Hancock baseball returns home for a two-game homestand after going 1-2 on the road last week. The Bulldogs start the week 7-7 overall, including a 6-0 mark at home. This week, the Bulldogs will play their final three games before opening Western State Conference play next week. Hancock hosts College of the Sequoias on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and Taft on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Both games start at 2 p.m. at John Osborne Field. The Taft game, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 1, was moved up a day due to the weather forecast. Hancock will play at Sequoias at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.

Last week, Hancock fell 16-3 and 15-4 at No. 3 Cypress. In between games against the Chargers, Hancock knocked off Irvine Valley 11-10 for its first road win of the season.
Sophomore shortstop Quinntin Perez (St. Joseph HS) hit a leadoff homerun in the first game and finished the day with 2 RBI. Sophomore leftfielder Brian Dowell (Righetti HS) hit a grand slam for his first collegiate home run in the second game against Cypress. Dowell and second baseman Chad Jones each had two hits in the loss.

Sophomore Cordell Bowie drove (Del Sol Academy) in a career-high three runs and hit his first career home run to help Hancock edge Irvine Valley 11-10 last Friday. Freshman Jake Shusterich (Arroyo Grande HS) collected four hits and drove in three runs for the Bulldogs. Dylan Maiden (Cabrillo HS) won his second straight start for the Bulldogs. Ismael Hernandez (Cabrillo HS) earned the save by striking out the Irvine hitter for the final out with the tying-run at third and the go-ahead run at second base. Jones, Bowie, Nic Cardinal (Mesa CC), Shane Flaningam (Highland HS) and Brendan Gomez (Santa Ynez HS) each had two hits in the win.

College of the Sequoias is off to a 7-8 start. Last week, the Giants went 1-2 against Cuesta. Wyatt Tilley leads the team with a .407 batting average and 16 RBI. Christopher Gonzalez is hitting .362.

Taft opens the week 6-6. This will be the two teams' second meeting this season. Daniel Curiel (Righetti HS) and Josh Tonascia (Hollister HS) both slugged three-run home runs to help Hancock build an early 6-2 lead. Hernandez went 4-for-4 in the loss. The Cougars rank third in the state with 13 homeruns. Wesley Hebert leads the team with a .451 batting average and four home runs to go with 12 RBI. Noah Sirkel has 3 home runs, while Jade Smooth has two home runs and a team-high 15 RBI and .378 batting average.

Hancock ranks seventh in the state with 11 home runs and tenth with .408 on-base percentage. Shusterich leads the team with a .440 batting average, two home runs and 12 RBI. Hernandez is hitting .393 with one home run and 8 RBI, while Perez is hitting .370 with 15 walks and a .547 on-base percentage. Curiel is hitting .358 with six stolen abses, while Bowie has 11 RBI and a .360 batting average.

SOFTBALL (1-0, 10-3-1)
This Week:
Wednesday, Feb. 28 @ Santa Barbara*, 2:30 p.m.

After playing seven games in a nine-day period, the Allan Hancock College softball team will play one game this week. The Bulldogs start the week 1-0 in Western State Conference play and 10-3-1 overall. Hancock will return to conference play at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Santa Barbara City College. The game was moved back one day to accommodate the wet weather.

Last week, the Bulldogs went 3-0 at home. The Bulldogs opened its conference title defense with a 31-1 win in five innings over Santa Monica last Thursday. Crystal Gonzalez hit a grand slam and finished with 6 RBI. Nakaila Fuggs went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and four runs scored, while Zaiden Bakke (Pleasant Valley HS) and Bailey Killough (Arroyo Grande HS) had two hits apiece. Bakke drove in three. Mackenzie Baird (Cabrillo HS) went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI and four runs scored, while Alyssa Gonzalez (Pioneer Valley HS) went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI in the win. Hannah Diaz (Pioneer Valley HS) allowed just one hit and one unearned run with four strikeouts in the circle to earn the win.

The Bulldogs finished last week with a 16-4 and 15-7 doubleheader sweep over Mt. San Jacinto. Killough went 3-for-3 with a home run and a career-high 6 RBI in the opener. She also threw a complete game to earn the win. Crystal Gonzalez (Righetti HS) went 2-for-2 with 4 RBI, while Gennae Abatti (Nipomo HS) and Alyssa Gonzalez (Pioneer Valley HS) drove in two runs apiece. In the second game, Killough went 4-for-4 with 3 RBI. Mallory Townsend (Cabrillo HS) and Baird both had two hits and 3 RBI. Diaz earned the win in the circle.

Overall, Bakke leads the team with a .483 batting average, followed by Crystal Gonzalez at .467 with two home runs, 21 RBI, 15 walks and .654 on-base percentage. Killough is hitting 467 with two home runs and a team-best 23 RBI. Cody is hitting .452 and Townsend is at .400 with four triples and 19 RBI. The Bulldogs have a team batting average of .386 with an on-base percentage of .482.

Santa Barbara lost its conference opener 2-1 last week at Bakersfield. The Vaqueros are 8-7 overall and 0-1 in league. Second baseman Madison Foster leads the team with a .381 batting average, 519 on-base percentage and 10 RBI. Janet Salas is hitting .314 with a team-high 13 RBI. SBCC is hitting .270 as a team and averaging 5.3 runs per game. Sophomore pitcher Calista Wendell is 5-4 with a 3.18 ERA, while Isabella Gregson is 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA.

This Week:
Friday, March 2 @ Western State Conference Meet #1 @ Ventura College, 11 a.m.

After a few weeks off from competition, the Hancock women's swimming and diving team returns to action Friday, March 2, at the first five-team Western State Conference hosted by Ventura College. Hancock, L.A. Valley, Bakersfield, L.A. Pierce and Ventura will go head to head at the Ventura Aquatic Center.

Last time out, freshman diver Kailey Roux (Orcutt Academy) won the women's 1m springboard competition during the WSC Pentathlon. Sophomore Meagan Stevens (Lompoc HS) earned four top-13 finishes, while Haylee Hernandez (Pioneer Valley HS) earned three top-17 finishes.

After WSC Meet #1, Hancock will host its only home meet of the season on Thursday, March 8, a dual meet with Clovis at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs will then compete at the Cuesta Invitational on March 9.
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