An off-day for the Broncos in Bellingham, Wash.

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball had the day off and the Broncos needed it to recharge after a draining 76-75 overtime win against Western Washington University in the NCAA Division II West Region semifinal on Saturday..

The Broncos (24-6) will be playing Brigham Young Hawall (22-5) at 7 p.m. on Monday for the right to move on the Elite Eight..

Neither team used its shoot-around time on Sunday. Broncos coach Greg Kamansky thought his team would be better off getting some rest and BYU doesn’t ever practice or play on Sundays for religious reasons.

The day off should help the Broncos, more than the Seasiders. BYU has some depth but Kamansky played just eight players in the overtime game. He used nine in the quarterfinal but one of those played just a minute.

It was a good day to stay inside anyway. It wasn’t all that cold, but there was a steady rain much of the day. When doesn’t rain in Washington? It might get up to 60 today. That’s pretty mild for a March day in Washington.

One more note, ran into Ira Graham after the game on Saturday. He is the former Fontana High School standout who had a stellar career playing at Western Washington. He has used all his eligibility but is finishing up school. He says he is headed to China this week to play professional ball and will be the same league with another local – Sheldon Pace..



Broncos find that magic again

The Cal Poly Pomona Broncos found a way again. Nothing surprises me about this team any more. The Broncos beat Western Washington 76-75 in overtime in West Region semifinal play.

The winning bucket came fron Dwayne Fells, off a pass from Dahir Nasser with a second left.

Austin Swift was huge with 22 points. That follows an 18-point performnance the previous night in the quarterfinals. He had two baskets in the closing minute of regulation, including a huge 3-pointer.

Swift has emerged as the leader of thit team, the same way Larry Gordon was the on-court leader in the magical run a year ago.

Now the focus will be on BYU-Hawaii. The Seasiders likely can’t wait to get their hands on the Broncos since they are the team that ended their run last year.

Game time Monday is 7 p.m. Judging the way BYU–Hawaii disposed of Cal State San Bernardino, it should be a great game.


Coyotes sent home by talented BYU-Hawaii

It’s over for the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team. The Coyotes fell to BYU-Hawaii 77-58, The Seasiders were stronger and more physical and it showed in every aspect of the game.

The Coyotes didn’t do anything well. They shot just 37 percent and had 23 turnovers. That isn’t going to win many games, especially aqgainst quality foes. The way the game was called didn’t help. Both Lawrence Tyson and Corey Caston fouled out.

BYU-Hawaii came in the sixth seed but it is better than that and everyone knew it. The talk among coaches, players and fans was that no one wanted to see BYU. The team was a No. 1 preseason selection by one publication. Star player Lucas Alves missed eight games with a knee injury which led to some early losses.

The Coyotes were gracious in defeat. Oliver came into the interview room with Tyson and Caston. Sometimes these sessions with the losing teams are tough. You get very little out of the players. But the Cal State players were articulate. That didn’t go unnoticed by other media members.


Coyotes in big trouble at the half

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is trailing Brigham Young Hawaii at the half 39-22 in the West Region semifinal at Western Washington.

Cal Poly Pomona coach Greg Kamansky took one look at the officials before the game even started and said the Coyotes were in big trouble. He wasn’t wrong.

Cal State has been called for 13 fouls while BYU has eight. Cal State has been called for five charges alone. Forget the fact that the BYU point guard is charging every time he touches the ball.

All Cal State’s big men have two fouls. Point guard Corey Caston has two.

The Coyotes have 15 turnovers and they’re shooting 30.8 percent.

It looks like it will be up the the Broncos to represent!


More on the West Region basketball tourney . . .

Leave it to Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball coach Jeff Oliver to provide the comic moment of the first day of play at the NCAA Division II West Region Tournament at Western Washington University.

Remember Oliver has been an outspoken critic of the conference since Day 1. He never resists a chance to tell anyone – media or otherwise – exactly what he thinks.

So Oliver is in the postgame press conference after his team beat Humboldt State 75-66 in the fourth meeting of the season between the two conference foes. He is sitting at a table in front along with players Corey Caston, Aaron Hill and David Jefferson.

Someone brings up the fact that the Coyotes are playing well and have some momentum.

Oliver then says “I’d like to thank the conference for having a tournament,” looking directly at conference commissioner Robert Hiegert who was standing in the back of the room.

Everyone in the room laughed, all apparently knowing the back story.

Oliver looked at Hiegert and said, “Sorry, I couldn’t resist”

Everyone laughed again. Oliver’s face was bright red, not sure if it was from laughing or because his team was 10 minutes removed from court. We all know he gets pretty worked up!

There was nothing surprising about the outcomes on the first day. All went pretty much as planned. So the semifinals should both be outstanding.

It’s Brigham Young-Hawaii vs. Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona vs. Western Washington.

The first game will pit two outstanding point guards – Caston and BYU’s Virgil Buensuceso. Hopefully neither will get in foul trouble defending the other and we can watch them go at it all night.

BYU is the team no one wanted to play. The Seasiders had some losses early but many were because of some injuries or they would have been seeded higher, They are certainly not a sixrth seed. The Seasiders are very good and might have the best player in the tournament in Lucas Alves. But they haven’t seen a team that plays defense like the Coyotes.

BYU, no doubt, wants Pomona. It lost to the Broncos in the regional final on its own home floor last year. That has not been forgotten!

Dixie State was no match for the experienced Broncos. Western Washington will give the Broncos a test and they”ll have the home court advantage. The place was jammed pack for the Vikings win over Central Washington. Broncos coach Greg Kamansky likes to play the underdog card. He was doing that after his team’s win over Dixie State. Whatever works!

I think it at least one local team will make it to Monday’s championship game. At the moment I’m not sure which one. But it wouldn’t surprise me if both did – giving us a Coyotes vs. Broncos No. 4.



Broncos advance with a win over Dixie State

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team did what was expected and turned in a 71-62 win over Dixie State (Urtah) in West Regional quarterfinal play at Western Washington University on Friday.And the game really wasn’t that close.

The Broncos (23-6) got 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists from senior Austin Swift. Mitchell Anderson and Dahir Nasser had 11 and 10 respectively. Cal Ploy shot 51 percent (26-for-51) from the field but still were not good from the free-throw line – 13 of 22.

Dixie had never appeared in the playoffs and it showed as it struggled early., Cal Poly didn’t play great early but the Broncos stayed poised and pulled away as the game went on.

The Broncos advance to play the winner of the game going on now between Central Washington and host Western Washington.

Coyotes advance in Bellingham

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is on to the West Region semifinals.

The Coyotes earned a spot opposite Brigham Young- HawaII in Saturday’s semifinal with a 75-66 win over CCAA rival Humboldt State. The game looked every bit like the first three between the teams this season.

It was close most of the way, then Cal State went on a mini-run to go up up six, then held on.

The Coyotes shot 42.3 percent (22-for-52) and were led vby Aaron Hill with 17 points. Devon Davis added 16 with six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Corey Caston and Bryan Le Duc added 12 and 10 respectively.

Humboldt shot 36.8 percent (21-for-57) and was led by big man Brian Morris with 17 points  and six rebounds.


Coyotes up on Humboldt State at the half

It’s halftime in Bellingham Washington and the Cal State San Bernardino men lead rival Humboldt State 34-31 in a Division II West Region quarterfinal.

It’s been an OK half for the Coyotes. They shot 41.4 percent from the field. Devon Davis and Aaron HIll have nine points each. Corey Caston has seven.

The Coyotes like to shoot the three but they have not been as fast and loose with the three as they are at times. They attempted eight in the first half, making three. Bryan Le Duc hasn’t had that many touches. He has just three attempts, with the first not coming until he hit a 3 with 3:36 left in the half.

Humboldt is shooting 38.5 percent and has an 18-16 edge in rebounding. Both teams had seven assists. Humboldt has eight turnovers, San Bernardino six.

The Humboldt pep pand is here. They still sound more like a polka band!

The winner of the game will play Brigham Young-Hawaii. The Seasiders beat Seattle Pacific 76-72 in what most thought would be the best game of the day.

Stay tuned!



Four local colleges start title hunt

It’s a busy day on the local college basketballl front as four teams continue their quest for titles today.

The majority of the action will be going on in the Great Northwest as the Cal Poly Pomona women are at Seattle Pacific to take on Alaska Anchorage in the NCAA Division II West Region Tournament. That game will tip off at 5:30 p.m.

If I had to pick a team it would have to be Anchorage. The Seawolves went to the Final Four the last two years while the Broncos have a roster full of players that have never been to the playoffs. Its a game between the fourth and fifth seeds which is usually a tossup so I hope I’m wrong.

Meanwhile the Cal Poly men and Cal State San Bernardino men are about a 90 mile drive away at Western Washington University for the men’s regional. The Coyotes will play CCAA foe Humboldt State (again) at 2:30 p.m. while the Broincos will follow against Dixie State (Utah). 

As far as Cal State-Humboldt . . . have to go with the Coyotes who have beaten them two of three meetings this season and, for the most part, have won all the big games against the Jacks, And it’s on a neutral court, another reason to favor the Yotes.

Take the Broncos all the way. Dixie is the team most in the tournamenr wanted. Never been to the playoffs,m out of a weak conference, the list of reasons goes on and on. The Broncos are seasoned and playing well. No reason to think they won’t win that one. 

Closer to home, the San Bernardino Valley College men play Foothill in the community college state quarterfinal at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks at 5 p.m. The Wolverines have won 20 straight games. Make it 21 after today!



Cal Poly Pomona women headed to Seattle

The Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball team is back in the playoffs after a four-year absence.

The Broncos have drawn the No, 5 seed for the Division II West Region tournament which begins on Friday at Seattle Pacific University. The quarterfinal foe for the Broncos will be No. 4 seed Alaska-Anchorage.

The Broncos were the CCAA runner-up, with UC San Diego finishing first. Cal Poly lost in the semifinals of last week’s CCCAA Tournament to Chico State, a team it had beaten twice. That likely had more to do with a brutal travel schedule than anything else.

A game between a 4 and a 5 seed is usually a toss-up The Broncos have the talent to win the event but their key players need to get right. Junior guard Reyana Colson is a marvelously talented player but she took a beating over the course of the year and hasn’t been her typical self the last few games.

They also have senior forward Stephisha Walton who can score and rebound with the best of them. Sophomore forward Megan Ford continues to get better. Cal Poly also has some solid role players who get the job done with little fanfare.

This is a huge stepping stone for a storied program about a decade removed from its glory days.If coach Scott Davis has his way, it will be back there with the elite teams soon!