Corsairs honor sensational sophomore class, as title hopes receive a boost

Submitted photo – The CR sophomores are honored before Saturday’s game.

College of the Redwoods mens basketball honored a sophomore class for the ages on Saturday, while getting a huge boost from an unlikely source in their bid for a repeat championship.

After celebrating their six sophomores before the final home game of the regular season, the CR men rolled to a 90-67 win over Butte.

With Shasta losing 81-74 at Siskiyous on Saturday, the Corsairs took over sole possession of top spot in the conference standings, with two games remaining.

A win at Shasta on Wednesday would guarantee the CR men a repeat championship and secure the legacy of a sensational sophomore class that includes Drew Gillette, Zac Claus, Bradley Willis, Donald Willis, Octavion Williams and Brandon Johnson.

“The six sophomores we honored today have laid the foundation for this era of Redwoods basketball,” head coach Ryan Bisio said. “I’m so proud of the show they gave us today.”

All six had a say in the win as well.

Donald Willis scored 17 points, while Bradley Willis had nine, Claus eight, Gillette and Johnson seven, and Williams three.

Jon Nchekwube also had a big afternoon and finished with a team-high 22 points.

“Jon got us going early, which has been a trend recently,” Bisio said. “His incredible physicality and effort really set the tone.”

Arcata’s Mason Railsback chipped in 11 points in what was a strong team performance from the home team.

File photo – Sophomores Drew Gillette, Donald Willis, Zac Claus and Bradley Willis are closing in on a second GVC championship with CR.

“Particularly in the second half everyone played with so much confidence,” the coach added. “Mason Railsback, Brandon Lucas, Brandon  Johnson, Octavion Williams, they were lights out.”

With the win, their seventh straight, the Corsairs improved to 7-1 in the GVC and 17-5 overall.

The Shasta men, who suffered their second straight loss after also losing at CR on Wednesday, dropped to 6-2 in the GVC.

“To explode on sophomore day in front of so many friends and supporters, we’ll always remember this performance,” Bisio said.

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