The script could not be written any better for the Fresno City College Rams, a 10-game win streak, a return home, and a West Hills Coalinga Falcons team who is still winless against conference opponents this season.
The Rams handed the Falcons their seventeenth loss of the season, and FCC added another curly W to their 11-game win streak and their 21-3 record, this time by a score of 115-67.
Opening up the game with nothing but freshmen, the Rams rested their usual starters to begin the game. West Coalinga came out strong to begin the first eight minutes, being able to hold Fresno City to only a four-point lead.
Freshman guard Richard Kawakami wore a mask during the game after suffering a broken nose the prior game against the Sequoias Giants after trying to rebound the ball. Kawakami said he did feel a little impaired with the mask on but adapted to it quickly scoring 8pts in 16 minutes.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Rams got over their cold start and padded a 10-point lead within the first 15 minutes of the game.
With the regular starters coming into the game from the bench, the Rams made sure to make their presence felt.
The Rams did what they did best and blocked shots and ruthlessly attacked the paint.
Sophomore guard Keshawn Bruner provided a monstrous block on defense to help disintegrate what looked to be a promising run for Coalinga.
Not only did Coalinga have to put up with an aggressive FCC, but they also had to deal with constant bickering between teammates as tempers boiled.
The game provided an opportunity for players like freshman guard Jaydan Bray-Williams.
Despite being up 79-43, Bray-Williams showed his grit by diving for a ball like it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
“I think the biggest thing you learn when you come to our program is just learning how to really compete at a high level. At pretty much everything you do, I think Jaydan’s learning, all of them are honestly” said head coach Ed Madec.
Throughout the half Bray-Williams stuck on defenders like glue, forcing multiple turnovers, and on route to multiple points off those turnovers.
“Everybody told me to go out there. Don’t worry about anybody says; just play. And I went out and just played,” said Bray-Williams.
With one team destined to make the playoffs and Coalinga heading in the opposite direction, the Rams look to continue to battle for the remainder of the season.
Inside the locker room, the team is looking to shift gears and zero in on the playoffs.
“We just don’t want to let each other down as long as we’re going as hard as we can, focusing as hard as we can, that’s really the culture. The culture is just giving your all,” said coach Madec.
Madec also added that the team is still looking to maximize its performance.
“I think we’re getting closer to that. We haven’t mastered anything yet, I still think we can peak and I still think we have some growing to go through, but we’re getting there. We’re getting better,” he said.
Going forward, FCC will be on the road for two games on Feb. 12 and 15 against the Porterville Pirates and the West Hills Lemoore Eagles. The Rams will come back home to face the Reedley Tigers and Merced Blue Devils Feb. 19 and 21 before beginning their quest for a state championship.