The American River College Men’s Basketball team (11-10) took on the Cosumes River College Hawks on Friday Feb. 8 looking for their fourth straight victory. The Beavers used high-octane offense and a dominate performance from Sophomore Chad Haysbert to pull out the victory and get back to over .500 for the season.
With star guard Mardell Thompson out of the starting lineup due to a missed practice, Sophomore Chris Carvin stepped up with a big performance running the Beaver’s offense. Carvin’s up tempo style helped build a nine-to-four lead before Thompson checked in with 16:30 left in the 1st half.
Carvin continued running the offense until checking out with 7 minutes left. Though he only scored three points the effects of his increased role where apparent. Both Thompson and Haysbert were productive, the two combined for 18 points and got into transition easily, helping the Beavers to build a 37-to-26 lead by halftime.
Though the lineup change was a result of undesirable circumstances head coach Mark Giorgi believes the results are a positive sign for the team.
“I think what it did was show how we’re coming together as a team,” Giorgi said. “That’s what a team’s about. When things are changed being able to go hey it’s just another day at the office’”
The Beavers continued their dominance after the break. Haysbert received the ball in the post four straight possessions to open the half.
“When the smaller defender was guarding me we wanted to abuse that matchup so I could get points and our shooters could open.” Haysbert said.
The strategy proved effective as Haysbert had another double digit half to finish with a game-high 24 points. Thompson showed no signs of cooling either, hitting a deep three-pointer as soon as he checked in with 15:25 left to play.
Carvin continued to push the pace from the point guard position. His court vision and unselfishness was critical in the run that allowed the Beavers to open a 56-34 lead.
“He’s a great point guard when it comes to (getting in) transition,” Haysbert said of Carvin. “He’d rather get the quick two points than set the offense.”
Coach Giorgi was pleased with Carvin’s performance as well.
“He made some great passes, a lot of people will look at the passes, but he played great defense tonight too.” Giorgi said.
With the game no longer in doubt the Beavers had some fun in the closing minutes. Haysbert got the home crowd excited with a transition dunk followed by a one-handed put-back jam from sophomore big man Kelly Jackson.
Carvin put the final exclamation point on the victory with a flashy layup off an isolation drive and the Beavers cruised to their 4th straight.
“Oh my gosh that was amazing,” Thompson said when asked about the game’s final minutes. “I love the dunks.”
The men’s final home game of the season is Tuesday Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. versus divisional foe Sierra College.