Owls freshman forward Chris Reyes goes in for the rebound but is no match for Chaffey’s sophomore power forward Adom Jacko who showed his aggressive nature scoring his second dunk shot of the Dec. 1 game. The Owls lost the game 78-48.
Six colleges came to the Owls’ Nest on the weekend of Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 for the annual Neil Edwards Classic, dedicated to Edwards who coached the Owls from 1969-1990 and the season of ’91.
The Chaffey Panthers, LA Pierce Brahmas, Orange Coast Pirates, San Diego City Knights, Sierra College Wolverines and the Citrus Owls were the colleges participating in this year’s Classic.
The Knights were the only team to go undefeated (3-0) and the tournament champions as they beat Chaffey 66-65 for their first win on a last second free throw from sophomore guard and Classic Most Valuable Player Martin Thomas in the first game.
They were able to cruise through their next two games, beating the Pirates 66-52 and the Wolverines 77-64.
“I thought we turned a corner this weekend,” Knights head coach Mitch Charlens said. “The players are so new to each other and they are so new to me. It was nice to see them play like this.”
The Owls finished the weekend with a 2-1 record and were led by big man Chris Reyes who averaged 16.3 points a game with 10.6 rebounds a game.
Citrus hosted the Pirates in the first game of the Classic and trailed a majority of the game but were able to rally back and win 77-67.
The Owls took on the Wolverines on Nov. 30 and beat Sierra 67-56 in a strong defensive effort, holding opposing shooters to just 42 percent from the field.
The last game of the tournament was one to forget for the Owls as they scored a measly 14 points in the first half against the Chaffey Panthers who put up 40.
Citrus freshman guard John Roach said, “Friday and Saturday we played good, we played more like ourselves. Still not the best but it was better than today’s [Sunday’s] performance.”
The Owls would lose the game 78-48 and end up shooting 26.5 percent from the field, easily their worst display of the Classic.
“We played well the first [two days], they played aggressive, we played like the way we normally play,” Citrus head coach Chris Victor said. “Tonight [Sunday] we played a style of basketball I’ve never seen, so hopefully we can change it up.”
Chaffey would finish the tournament with a record of 2-1, good enough for second place.
Chaffey sophomore forward Adom Jacko said, “we played pretty good [throughout the tournament], we ran into some speed bumps, but other than that we’ve been getting better.”
With the Neil Edwards Classic coming to an end, the Owls will get some rest as they prepare for the Riverside Holiday Tournament which is set to begin Dec. 10 and will run until Dec. 14.
“We are going to continue to work hard and make sure that we play for each other and not anything else. We need to trust each other and continue to play hard and work hard,” Roach said.
Chaffey head coach Jeff Klein said, “who knows what we did in the San Diego City game but we lost in the last second and that really motivated us.”
“We had two good bounce back games against LA Pierce and against Citrus, I think we were unrecognizable after the first night,” Klein said.
PG Martin Thomas – SDCC
PG Martin Thomas – SDCC
PG Julian Nichols – Chaffey
G/F Caleb Singleton – SDCC
F Devaun Evans – OCC
F Chris Reyes – Citrus