Eager Wildcats enter the first round of playoffs

With the CCAA First Round of playoffs starting on Tuesday, March 3, both men’s and women’s basketball are eager to clinch game one and move on to the second round. Both teams are also looking to fight for their own championship.

The men’s team is on a roll after winning their last four games. They will look to find revenge against Stanislaus State, as the Warriors took down the Wildcats on Nov. 21 by a score of 66-74.

Spencer LaShells, a junior from Danville, has played in every game this season and is excited for the playoffs. LaShells ranks fourth on the team in rebounds and reached a career high of 12 points on Nov. 24.

“We’re at the top of the league. We feel pretty good,” LaShells said.
Justin Briggs, the lone senior and team captain, has led the Wildcats to a 21-6 record and is looking to continue to lead throughout playoffs. Briggs has had quite the senior year, shattering the all-time block record on Feb. 6.

“We feel good,” Briggs said. “We just want to make sure we don’t peak before the playoffs start. Our goal this whole postseason is to just keep going up, up and up until we reach the postseason.”

Malik Duffy, a junior and recent Wildcat of the Week, has been shooting the ball exceptionally well within the last few games. He has posted four straight double-digit games for the Wildcats.

“We just have to execute,” Duffy said. “When we have big leads, we can’t let them get back into it. Offensive and defensive — we have to play together.”
The women’s team secured a home playoff game with a win Saturday against Stanislaus State. The women’s team has won their last five games and head coach Brian Fogel hopes they can stay hot going into playoffs.

“We always want to get better,” Fogel said. “Our rebounding is something we always need to get better at, just because of the lack of our size. Right now, I feel like offensively we are getting into a rhythm and we just have to keep playing our best basketball.”

Maddy Wong, the lone senior and 3-point assassin, believes the Wildcats are playing very confidently. Wong has shattered two 3-point records during her senior year and is excited for the upcoming challenge.

“I think everything is clicking right at the perfect time. We hit a wall in the middle of the season and I feel like we broke through these last few games,” Wong said.

Hayley Ison, a sophomore from Laguna Niguel, echoed what Wong said in their approach to the playoffs.

“We are very confident and we feel like we are peaking at the right time,” Ison said. “We are getting these solid wins at the end of the season and I think it will propel us into a good spot once the playoffs start.”

Stay tuned as Tuesday, March 3 awaits the men’s basketball matchup against Stanislaus State and women’s matchup against California State University East Bay. The first round of playoffs will kick off in Acker Gym with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.

Matthew Wreden can be reached at [email protected] or @MattWreden70 on Twitter.