By Ray Hamill — A fast start to the new season for the CR men’s basketball team has not gone unnoticed, with the high-flying Corsairs turning some heads this week in a couple of polls.
After getting the better of a good Mendocino team by a score of 85-73 at home on Tuesday of last week, the Corsairs posted back-to-back wins at the Seahawk Classic over the weekend, easing past Gavilan 72-54 on Friday and then edging host Cabrillo 59-58 on a buzzer-beater on Saturday.
And victories over two top-20 teams in NorCal — Gavilan and Cabrillo — has the Corsairs riding high in the latest Rating Percentage Index released by California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCMBCA).
According to the latest poll, the CR men’s start is the third most impressive in the state with 0.762 index points, trailing only Chabot (0.879) and Bakersfield (0.813).
Bradley Willis scored the winning basket against Cabrillo after being set up on a brilliant full-court inbound pass from Zac Claus.
Mason Railsback also had a huge 3-pointer to give CR the lead just seconds earlier, before Cabrillo retook the lead on a 3-pointer with one second remaining.
“It was the most amazing three-second sequence I’ve ever seen,” CR head coach Ryan Bisio said.
That dramatic victory, coupled with a clutch second-half rally against Mendocino, will give the Corsairs a big boost and plenty of confidence early in the season.
It also apparently has impressed some JC basketball fans around the state.
With the three wins, the Corsairs have also moved up seven spots in this week’s Signal the Light Basketball rankings and they are now No. 8 in NorCal.
Railsback isn’t the only newcomer to impress early for the CR men, with Jon Nchekwube also having a big impact in the paint through the opening few games.
“In the Cabrillo game he just scored time and time again to bring us back into that game,” Bisio said.
The CR men were playing without starter Drew Gillette, who took a shot to the chin during the Gavilan game on Friday and was held out against Cabrillo.
Gillette is back practicing with the team this week and Bisio is hoping to have him available for Saturday’s game at home to Napa College.
Tip off is set for 3 p.m.