Around the Horn 1-9-17

Around the Horn 1-9-17

The Big 8 Conference is always a bear, and the Vikings men’s basketball team showed its mettle splitting games in the first week of conference play.
The Vikings (13-4, 1-1) opened with a 69-59 loss against formidable Sam Joaquin Delta, and then emerged with a nail-biting 70-69 win over host American River.
Floor pilot Rodney Pope continues to play well, and Jovontae Carelton got hot in the second half against ARC.
And the big tests keep coming. DVC is at the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs (11-5, 2-0) on Tuesday and then will return at home against Sierra (7-9, 2-0) Friday.
DVC coach Steve Coccimiglio, who was out ill for the loss to Delta, called the win over ARC “big.” He did not want to fall to 0-2 in conference after entering the Big 8 on a seven-game winning streak highlighted by a triumph over powerful Antelope Valley in the Chabot Classic.
“It was our best game of the year,” Coccimiglio said of the win over Antelope.
Against ARC, DVC trailed 38-34 in the back-and-forth contest and made big shots to pull ahead. Things got hairy in the final seconds as ARC hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 70-69, and then made an apparent basket that was waived off because it came just after the final buzzer.
Against Delta, Pope had 15 points, Careltpn had 12 and Eric Nielsen had 10, but the Vikings shot just 35.6 percent from the floor (21 for 59) and 21.7 percent from 3-point range (5 for 23).
Santa Rosa, the early Big 8 co-leader, is coming off wins over American River 75-54 and Cosumnes River 74-66. Erik Poulsen had a double-double against Cosumnes River with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Frazier and Keil Long had 17 points apiece. Poulsen had 19 against ARC.

WOMEN
DVC (15-3, 2-0) remained unbeaten in the Big 8 with a 73-67 road win over American River on Jan. 6. Doris Jones led the way with 25 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Safiyyah Yasin contributed 16 points.
The Vikings inched away with a 22-17 run in the fourth quarter after leading by a point through three quarters. The game was tied at 39 at halftime.
The Vikings, ranked eighth in the state in the Jan. 2 CCCWBCA State Poll, opened conference play with a 74-65 win over tough San Joaquin Delta on Jan. 4, avenging a recent loss to the Mustangs. Delta (14-4, 1-1) went on to upset Sierra (14-2, 1-1) 75-66 on Jan. 6, putting the Vikings alone in first place.
DVC has a big test against Sierra in Pleasant Hill at 7:30 p.m. Friday, after traveling to Santa Rosa on Tuesday.
Destinee Bowie paces Sierra with 13.7 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. Sadie Irvine leads Santa Rosa at 13.1 points a game. Jones leads the high-octane DVC offense, averaging 18.4 ppg, and Yasin is at 15.9 ppg.

-- Matt Schwab