Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Seventh Straight Victory puts the Bear Cubs in First Place

Seventh Straight Victory puts the Bear Cubs in First Place

On Friday, Santa Rosa played its most pivotal game of the season to this point. Coming off of a thrilling 70-69 victory over Sacramento City College, the Bear Cubs (16-6, 8-2), who hosted the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs (11-10, 7-2), had a chance to stand alone at the number one spot in the Big 8 Conference with a victory. 

On the first possession, Forward, Ezekiel Stallworth knocked down a three-point basket to give Santa Rosa the early advantage. After Delta split a pair of free throws, Forward, Justin Smith made a driving layup, and Guard, Andrew Pengel converted a three-point play to make the score 8-1 less than two minutes into the game. Off of a Delta made basket, the Mustangs went into a full-court press, which was quickly broken by Guard, Yatyn Anderson, who made a two-point shot. Coming off of another Delta basket, Pengel drained a three-pointer to make the score 13-5 in favor of Santa Rosa. The Mustangs then went on a quick 5-0 run before Stallworth made another three-point shot, making the score 16-10 with 15 minutes remaining in the half. The Bear Cubs would extend the lead to 10 points with a pair of two-point shots from Smith and Forward, Stephen Ransom. Following another 5-0 run by the Mustangs, the Bear Cubs started imposing their will on the offensive glass. Pengel made a two-point shot and rebounded his free throw attempt, then Guard, Jackson Smyth put back another missed shot, resulting in a four-point possession for the Bear Cubs. Delta would strike next, but Anderson would make an 18-foot jumper Santa Rosa to keep it a nine-point advantage with 8:15 left. Five unanswered points for the Mustangs made the score 26-22 at the 6:34 mark. The Bear Cubs responded quickly with a jumper from the elbow by Ranson, but a three-pointer by Delta narrowed the margin to just three points. Following two free throws by Anderson, Delta made another three-pointer which made the score 30-28 Santa Rosa. Searching for answers, the Bear Cubs again started crashing the glass. Ransom and Smith both scored on putbacks off of an offensive rebound, giving Santa Rosa a six-point lead with under three minutes left in the half. A blocked shot from Smith led to a fast break opportunity where Ransom made a layup and was fouled. Ransom missed the free throw, but Smith rebounded the shot and spun off of his defender to make a layup. Another offensive rebound putback by Smith gave Santa Rosa a 40-28 lead, their largest of the half. Delta scored three unanswered points in the final minute and a half. As both teams went to the locker rooms, Santa Rosa led 40-31.

Similarly to the start of the game, the Bear Cubs knocked down a three-pointer on their first possession, this time it was Anderson who made the basket. Santa Rosa's next basket came from another putback shot off of an offensive rebound by Stallworth. Less than two minutes into the second half, the Bear Cubs had a fourteen-point lead 45-31. With their backs against the wall, Delta responded with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to just six points. A jumper by Stallworth stopped the momentum shift momentarily, but the Mustangs scored on their next possession. Three points from Ransom and a converted three-point play by Pengel made the score 53-41 Bear Cubs with just over nine minutes to play. After a two-point basket by Delta, Ransom, who had tremendous energy all night off the bench, brought the crowd to their feet with a press-breaking dunk. Following another two-point Delta make, Pengel hit a three-pointer from the corner with 5:16 left to extend Santa Rosa's lead to thirteen. The Mustangs answered back with a three-pointer of their own, but Ransom added another two-point field goal for the Bear Cubs. Following a Delta made field goal, Ransom added three free throws. The Bear Cubs had a 63-50 lead with 2:42 remaining. Besides a Delta made basket, there was no scoring until 1:18 left when a Delta three trimmed the margin to eight. A foul by the Mustangs put Ransom at the free throw line where he made both shots. Delta went right down the floor and made a three-pointer to make the score 65-58 at the 1:00 mark. Guard, Zeke Grund was fouled and made one of his two free throws, but another Delta three-pointer cut the deficit to just five points with 0:34 left. Smith split his pair of free throws and yet another three-pointer by Delta made it a three-point game 67-64. Santa Rosa's eleven-point lead dwindled to just three points in under a minute of play. Fortunately for the Bear Cubs, Ransom and Smith would go 4-4 from the free throw line in the final seconds, and the Bear Cubs were victorious 71-64. The offensive splits were 25-64 (39.1%) on field goals, 5-22 (22.7%) on three-pointers, and 16-25 (64%) from the free throw line. Forward, Stephen Ransom led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Guard, Andrew Pengel with 14 points, and Forward, Justin Smith with 13 points. All three double-digit scorers also had double-digit rebounds.

On Tuesday, the first-place Bear Cubs (17-6, 9-2) hosts Consumnes River (14-9, 7-4).