It’s been a long time since the Porterville College men’s basketball team has won a tournament title, but the Pirates finally broke through on Saturday. And the title came against Kern Community College District rival Bakersfield College.
PC beat Bakersfield 88-79 in the finals of Bakersfield’s Tournament on Saturday. Porterville (3-4) will now go for its second straight win over its district rival when it travels to Bakersfield College for a 5 p.m. game Tuesday.
Porterville’s four sophomores led the way as Jason Carmichael had a huge night, scoring 39 points. Carmichael picked up where fellow sophomore Mikey Hidalgo left off as Hidalgo scored 39 points in an 81-76 win over Merritt College on Friday. Also against BC, Hidalgo scored 16 points and sophomores Kameron Hoyt and Jordan Wilkinson scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“It was a complete sophomore night,” PC coach T.J. Jennings said. “That’s what it came down to.”
PC was also able to win the tournament without its other sophomore, starting point guard Donald Lee, who’s still out with a foot injury. Jennings said he hopes Lee will be able to play on Tuesday, but if not, should be back for the Sacramento Tournament on Thursday.
Porterville led by as much as 11 points against BC before the Renegades came back to take a three-point lead. But a key play came when Miguel Perez grabbed a rebound and was fouled with the game tied. Perez made both free throws and PC never trailed after that.
The emergence of Wilkinson and Perez inside is beginning to open up the floor for players like Carmichael and Hidalgo. “He’s finally starting to find his way,” said Jennings about Wilkinson. “The last three games, he’s had a great impact and presence for us. He’s starting to finish inside.”
Jennings added Perez “has just been consistent.”
CEBALLOS, SALAS AT STATE
Monache’s Jorge Ceballos and Jesus Salas ran in the State Championships on Saturday at Woodward Park. In Division II, Ceballos finished 70th, covering the 5K course in 16 minutes, 28 seconds and Salas was 125th in 16:52.
“We didn’t have our best races, but they did fine,” Monache coach Brian Cruess said.
Salas blazed out to the lead after a half-mile, “which was probably a mistake,” said Cruess about how Salas could finish, but it was still a highlight for Salas nonetheless. “It was all good,” Cruess said.
Ceballos and Salas running in state climaxed a successful season for the Monache boys in which they won their first league title since 1976. “We had a great season,” Cruess said.
James Sanders, a 2001 Monache graduate, had his best game of the season for the Atlanta Falcons in their 24-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Sanders started at safety for the Falcons (7-4), playing the entire game, and made a season-high eight tackles.