By Ray Hamill — While community interest for their game has been off the charts all week, with 800 tickets selling out in just a matter of hours on Wednesday afternoon, the College of the Redwoods women now must put all the hoopla aside and focus on their job.
Namely beating Skyline College.
The Corsairs come into the NorCal playoff game with a record of 20-5, including going unbeaten in all seven home games, while the Trojans are 19-9.
Skyline averages just 59 points a game (compared to CR’s 77.8 points), but plays a tough, physical brand of basketball that will test the home team.
“They’re physical,” CR head coach Jain Tuey said. “They’re got bigger bodies. Even their guards are 5-9 or so.”
The Trojans rely heavily on all-state post player Olga Faasolo who averages 13.9 points a game.
But while Faasolo will be a point of emphasis for the CR women, Tuey says their focus is mostly on doing what they do best and not allowing the occasion get to them.
“I want us to stay in our groove and I don’t want us to overly focus on them,” the head coach said. “We’re looking to push it in transition a little more and just be patient with our offense and not rush shots and not take bad shots, because they’re a good rebounding team.”
The build up has been exciting and even a little intense for the CR players.
“There’s been a lot of energy and excitement all around us. It’s been fun,” Tuey said. “And it’s been slightly overwhelming at times too.”
The coaches talked to the players on Wednesday about the need to focus on their job, and about enjoying the moment but also realizing it’s just another game.
And it appears to have worked, with a productive practice session.
“I felt they were really focused yesterday,” Tuey said.
Tip off is set for 5:30 p.m., and the game will be streamed live through the CR athletics and basketball pages, as well as broadcast live on MIX 95.1 FM.