Apaches win ACCAC title; host Arizona Western on Saturday

Cochise College sophomores Damon Wall, Naje Smith, Aaron Garcia, and Milan Szabo were honored prior to the start of the Apaches game with Phoenix College Tuesday night at Cochise.

The Cochise College Apaches won the ACCAC championship Tuesday night beating Phoenix College 88-83 on Sophomore Night at Cochise College.

The Apaches, 23-7 overall, 17-5 in conference, now move on to the post season playoffs and will host Arizona Western College this Saturday, at 7 p.m., in a Region 1 playoff game. Fans attending the game need to be advised there will be a $5 admission fee.

Against Phoenix College, the Apaches got off to a slow start falling behind quickly 7-0.

Cochise fought back to lead 16-15 at the midway point of the first half. Tied at 34, Cochise outscored Phoenix 4-2 in the closing seconds taking a 38-36 lead at the intermission.

After taking a 10-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 Patrick Samoura, and QuayShawn Gentry would hit big three's and Naje Smith, Damon Wall, and Arion Lewis would seal the game with clutch free throws.

Smith led all scorers with a game-high 30 points, followed by Lewis pouring in 22 points with five made three's.

"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," Cochise College Coach Jerry Carrillo said after the game. "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."

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