The Corsairs had mixed fortunes at their season-opening basketball tournaments over the weekend, with the men winning all three of their games at Napa and the women dropping all three of theirs at Delta College.
Returning all-state center Jon Nchekwube got the new season off to an impressive start for the men, pulling down 26 rebounds in a tournament-opening 88-75 win over De Anza.
“Jon was historic on the glass,” CR head coach Ryan Bisio said. “When you get 26 rebounds in a game, people notice, let’s put it that way.”
The CR men also beat Folsom Lake, 81-67, and Napa, 75-64.
Nchekwube added a second double-double against Folsom, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a close game that was tied with four minutes remaining, while Ty Neff chipped in 17 points off the bench and his twin brother Trey remained hot with 14 more points.
Nchekwube capped a big opening weekend with 27 points in the final game against the host school, while Cheong added 21 points and Trey Neff finished with 20.
“Our growth throughout the weekend became the most apparent in the second half,” Bisio said of Sunday’s game. “We took care of the ball, executed offensively and played fiery on the defensive end.”
The Corsairs return to the North Coast to host Santa Rosa in their home opener on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m.
The CR women, meanwhile, got more competitive as the weekend wore on.
After losing their opener 103-57 to College of the Sequoias, the Corsairs fell 70-59 to Feather River in day two and pushed Merced all the way in a 61-60 loss on day three.
Returning sophomore Rachel Valdez got the new season off to a good start with 48 points over the three games, while freshman Lilianna Hoban had an immediate impact with her new team and scored in double digits in all three games.
Hoban finished with 10 points against Sequoias and 12 against both Feather and Merced.
Kathryce Danzuka also impressed and chipped in 10 points against Sequoias and 13 against Merced, while Kendall Stewart had 13 points against Feather River.