Early Deficit Too Much For Jayhawks To Erase
An early 10-point deficit and a first-half injury to starter Williams Overo put Jamestown Community College in a hole that was too great to climb out of Wednesday evening, as visiting Genesee Community College claimed a 99-92 NJCAA Region 3 Division II win at the Physical Education Complex.
Twenty-six points and 11 rebounds from Brian Fobbs led the way for the Cougars, who broke out to an 11-1 margin early after the 6-foot-4 sophomore set to work in the paint and teammate Jaheem Page began with the hot hand, burying an early trey on his way to 22 points and 10 boards.
“This team got beat at the buzzer in the regional finals at Niagara against Niagara last year (and) they are returning four starters off that team,” Jamestown CC coach George Sisson said of Genesee CC. “We spotted them seven points to start the game and we lost by seven points, and in the midst of that I lost my starting forward to a foot injury midway through the first (half). I thought we were valiant, we battled.”
“We’ve been a seven-point game here, eight- or nine-point game against Niagara, Mercyhurst, we played them to a six-point game, we’re right in the mix, and they’re all having returning players and we’re kind of having this thing new,” Sisson added.
Early deficit aside, the Jayhawks returned fire on offense with back-to-back makes by Kenny Pitt, who was able to revitalize his team en route to a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double that included a pair of steals.
Pulling to within six points, the Cougars were able to keep Jamestown CC at an arms length, with Rahmel Thompson burying a trey on his way to 18 points, while Jarett Haines took advantage of space on the baseline and drained a jumper for two more to make it 24-18 for the visitors.
Chris Robson got into the offensive mix as time began to tick away in the first half, feeding DJ Branch on the outside for an open 3, and the sophomore guard followed that up with an inside jumper on the ensuing possession to pull the Jayhawks within two.
“The first three or four minutes we didn’t get out of the blocks well, then we battled ourselves back into the game and I though there was a moment again when our offense, bad offense created easy shots for them to stretch the lead out,” Sisson said. “We just have to keep grinding it out, that’s the bottom line. This region is good, and we haven’t seen the best team in Monroe.”
To make matters worse for the hosts, Fobbs and Thompson were able to drain back-to-back shots from beyond the arc despite well-contested defensive efforts by the Jayhawks, as Genesee CC ended the half with a 51-44 margin.
Try as they might, the story of the second half was much the same as the first, as Jamestown CC tried time and again to shrink the gap, only to have the Cougars respond on the offensive side of the ball.
Genesee CC’s margin stood at 57-52 after Pitt was able to lay in a drive to the net and Tavion King provided a dish to Keshaun Howard for the easy deuce.
Fobbs continued his strong work in the paint down the stretch, putting back a rebound before Jordan Smart set to work down low and finished off back-to-back buckets to make it 82-70 for the visitors.
The Cougars would ride that margin the rest of the way to the final as Jamestown CC ran out of time to mount a comeback despite late work from Howard, Branch and Pitt.
Jamestown CC will look to rebound this coming weekend as they host the Jim Riggs Post-Journal Classic Tournament.
“We’ve got a big weekend, that Jim Riggs Tournament is a really important tournament to us, it’s two more home games and we want to re-establish ourselves on our home court.”
GENESEE CC (99)
Peters 4-10 3-6 11, Williams 4-7 1-1 9, Fobbs 9-17 3-4 26, Thompson 5-14 6-8 18, Page 10-13 1-2 22, Haines 3-4 2-2 8, Smart 2-3 1-3 5. Totals 37-68 17-26 99.
JAMESTOWN CC (92)
Williams 4-12 0-0 9, King 2-4 0-0 5, Branch 5-13 4-4 16, Howard 4-7 1-2 10, Overo 1-5 0-0 2, Kiadii 4-5 0-0 8, Parker 1-3 0-0 0, Wright 4-5 0-0 8, Robson 1-4 3-5 5, Pitt 10-15 6-8 26. Totals 36-73 14-19 92.
Halftime–Genesee CC 51, Jamestown CC 44. 3-point goals–Genesee CC 8-21 (Peters 0-1, Williams 0-1, Fobbs 5-10, Thompson 2-7, Page 1-2), Jamestown CC 6-19 (Williams 1-3, King 1-1, Branch 2-7, Howard 1-1, Overo 0-2, Parker 1-2, Wright 0-1, Robson 0-2). Fouled out–Williams. Rebounds–Genesee CC 37 (Fobbs 15), Jamestown CC 32 (Pitt 12). Assists–Genesee CC (Peters 5), Jamestown CC (Williams 4). Totals fouls–Genesee CC 13, Jamestown CC 19.