DOUGLAS — The Cochise College men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed to the playoffs on a high note after ending their regular season with wins on Tuesday.
Cochise College men’s basketball came into Tuesday night needing a win to clinch the top seed in the Region I Playoffs. Clutch three-pointers late in the game by freshman Patrick Samoura and QuayShawn Gentry made that a reality as the Apaches came away with an 88-83 win.
The win moved the Apaches to 23-7 overall and 17-5 in the ACCAC, giving Cochise their 8th ACCAC title under head coach Jerry Carrillo.
A back-and-forth game all night saw both teams hold leads in the first half, with Cochise finally settling with a 38-36 halftime lead. After holding a ten-point lead late in the second half, a Phoenix College rally would see them take the lead 76-75 with just under five minutes remaining in the game.
Cochise would keep its poise as Samoura and Gentry would hit big threes. Sophomores Naje Smith, Damon Wall and freshman Arion Lewis would seal the game with clutch free throws.
Smith led all scorers with a game-high 30 points, followed by freshman Arion Lewis pouring in 22 points, with five made threes.
“This has been a fun year in the sense that this team has allowed us to coach them and try different things to get the most out of them all year,” Carrillo said.
“Starting after Christmas break, we, as coaches, really fought for our culture and wanted the guys to know what it meant to wear that Cochise jersey. They bought in, kept improving, and because of that, they are ACCAC champions. Now we have a great opportunity to win a Region I title.”
Cochise shot 60% FG for the night.
The Apaches are the number one seed in the upcoming Region I Playoffs and will host the Arizona Western College Matadors on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Women end regular season with winCochise College women’s basketball dominated Phoenix College from start to finish with an 81-66 win. The Apaches jumped to 24-13 lead after the first quarter. Phoenix continued to battle the entire game scoring 20 points in the second. The Apaches put the game away outscoring Phoenix by seven in the third quarter. Sophomores Janessa Johnson led all scorers with 28 points, and Raena Suggs added 22. Kayla Harris led all rebounders with 12 for the night.
The Apaches end the regular season with a 26-4 record and celebrated sophomore night honoring Raena Suggs, Janessa Johnson, Kayla Harris, Vinisha Sherrod and Janisha Brown. Over the last two years, the sophomores have recorded 54 wins to 8 losses.
Coach Laura Hughes said, “It was great to honor the sophomores and end the regular season with a win. Raena and Janessa stepped up and led the way with their scoring. We completed another successful season with 26 wins and are now focused on the playoffs.”
The Apaches take on Eastern Arizona College Tuesday, March 3 in the first round of the Region 1 playoffs. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.