Rams Tally a Win and a Loss in 14th Annual FCC Classic Tournament

Story By: Ben Hensley, Reporter

Fresno City College held its 14th annual FCC Classic basketball tournament on Nov. 16 and 17 in the gymnasium.

It was truly a tale of two games.

Opening up the competition against Sierra College and head coach John Fusano, FCC head coach Ed Madec had high praise for their team.

“They’ll play as hard, if not harder than anybody in the state,” Madec said prior to the game.

Come game time however, it was all FCC. After trailing early, the Rams rallied early in the first to a 12-7 lead coming out of the first timeout.

After that, they never looked back.

Shooting exceptionally well from 3-point range, an energized FCC team went 11-23 (47.8 percent) from 3-point territory, seemingly shooting at will. Contested or uncontested, the 3-pointers kept raining down, especially in the first half which ended in a 43-22 FCC lead.

The Rams’ defense also took center stage at times, holding Sierra to a 5-minute scoring droughts in each of the halves.

After halftime FCC let some of the air out of the ball, running the shot clock down on many occasions leading to a 66-36 win.

Sophomore forward Ethan Richardson led the Rams in scoring with 19, followed by sophomore forward Ian Miller with 11.

Possibly the most impactful result from the blowout win however was not the result; it was the path to the result.

With 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd half, FCC guard sophomore Georgie Dancer went down with an apparent leg injury. After being attended to on the trainer’s table, Dancer did not return to the court.

24 hours later, the Rams took to the hardwood once more, this time in a rematch against City College of San Francisco. CCSF won the initial matchup on Nov. 3, 79-70. The result of the initial matchup could be summed up in one word: turnovers.

The second meeting of the year could be summed up in one word as well: penalties.

The referee’s whistles got a workout early and often in a game that saw the Rams commit 23 penalties, forcing players on and off the bench early in the matchup.

Facing a larger and more athletic team than Sierra, CCSF played a very physical game, spreading the floor exceptionally well early on, and drawing fouls from the Rams, seeing FCC commit five fouls within the first five minutes of play.

However, after being down by as many as 14, the Rams surged back to a 4 point deficit at halftime.

With the absence of Georgie Dancer who played for 3 minutes on an ankle injury, other players stepped up, specifically sophomore guard Jared Small with 25 points, and freshman guard Eljay Gallegos with 14 points to go along with five assists.

Early in the second half, Gallegos displayed shades of Tony Parker, driving fearlessly to the basket and hitting 6-8 from the floor overall.

But as the second half wore on, FCC seemed to wear out. The absence of Dancer seemed to take its toll on the Rams ability to score.

After overcoming several turnovers and penalties early in the game, the Rams fought valiantly even without Dancer’s offensive support.

“Well, we battled, but we just came up short,” Madec said of the team.

Moving forward, the Rams (2-3) next face Cabrillo College (3-1) during Thanksgiving break, at 5 p.m. in the gymnasium.