BIG 8 BASKETBALL
Two sharp and well-coached Diablo Valley basketball teams will begin play in the demanding Big 8 Conference Tuesday at home against San Joaquin Delta. The men’s game will tip off at 5:30 p.m., with the women’s game at 7:30 p.m.
The DVC men (12-3) are fresh off back-to-back championships in the Chabot Classic and West Valley Tournament as sophomore Rodney Pope (Freedom) and freshman Jovontae Carelton earned MVP honors.
MVP Pope scored 31 points and Carelton, an all-tourney pick, had 26 as the Vikings beat Wayne County (Michigan) 84-80 in the Chabot final on Dec. 30, DVC's seventh consecutive win.
In the West Valley final, Carelton, the MVP, had 20 points and eight boards in an 61-59 win over Solano on Dec. 17. Brazilian newcomer Victor Mjas had 15 points and Pope 16.
DVC and Delta (7-6) met in the San Francisco tourney, with the Vikings overcoming a six-point halftime deficit to take a 65-63 win. Center Eric Nielsen (Dublin) led the Vikings with 16 points. For Delta, Jovian Cormier had 16 points, David Lerma had 15 and Cameron Pieters 12.
The Vikings are really looking for a strong opener with road games looming at American River on Friday and Santa Rosa on Jan. 10.
The high-powered Vikings (13-3) set a program mark for wins heading into conference play, including surpassing 100 points in two blowout victories. But they also have some added motivation heading into Tuesday’s rematch with Delta (13-3), which upended DVC 64-55 in the championship game of the San Jose City tourney on Dec. 29.
Overall, it was a December to remember for the Vikings, who scored at least 80 points in eight consecutive games, all of them wins, before the hiccup against Delta.
The Vikings are ranked No. 3 in the state in scoring, averaging 81.8 points a game.
Standout Doris Jones paces the Vikings with 18.5 points and 7.3 rebounds a game, and Kelea Pickeral-Dennis is averaging a double-double with 12.1 points and 12.5 rebounds. Safiyyah Yasin is No. 2 on the team in scoring at 15.9 ppg, and Samira Oliver is at 11.1 ppg.
DVC TO OPEN BIG 8 LIVING LARGE
BIG 8 BASKETBALL