Basketball

CR men quickly get back on track at American River Classic

The Corsairs quickly got back to winning ways in men’s basketball on Thursday night, knocking off the host Beavers 78-76 to open the American River Classic.

After dropping a non-conference, non-tournament game at Marin on Wednesday, the College of the Redwoods men responded with the two-point win to go to 4-1 on the young season.

And they had to battle for this one, barely holding off a surging home team late in the game.

“They went on a charge and we were able to just fend them off,” head coach Ryan Bisio said. “But we showed some poise late in the game. We made some free throws and had some critical possessions when we made some smart plays.”

The Corsairs had the much stronger first half to lead 39-19 at the interval, and led by 20 again (60-40) with a little over 12 minutes remaining, before the home team went on a late run to make for an exciting finish.

Thomas Nelson and Zac Claus each finished with 15 points to lead a balanced performance for the visitors.

Isaac Puzz finished with 13 points, all in the first half, while Drew Gillette had 12.

Donald Willis scored eight and EJ Jackson seven.

The win marks the second straight weekend the Corsairs have beaten a host school in a tournament opener.

The game was American River’s season opener.

The Corsairs will continue tournament play against De Anza on Friday at 4 p.m.

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