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Defense Leads Cubs To 2-1 Mark In Columbia Tournament

November 21, 2007

The sage saying of “Defense Wins Championships” was apropos last weekend as a tenacious Cub defense poked and prodded opponents into submission and permitted 17th ranked LA City (5-2) to exit the Columbia College Tournament (Sonora, Calif.) with Third Place and a 2-1 tournament record.

LA City 48 – Diablo Valley 39
Nov. 16

The undefeated and No. 4 ranked team in California, Diablo Valley College, met their match as the Cubs held the Bay Area powerhouse to 29 percent shooting from the field on 13-44 from the field. The Cubs, meanwhile, shot 50 percent including 2-5 from the three-point line.

DVC attempted a second half comeback but City’s defense never looked better in literally shutting down key Viking scorers. No DVC player scored more than eight points.
Sophomore power forward Ricky Boyles (6-7, Washington Prep) was the player of the game in scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds while shooting 6-8 from the floor. Cub forward Diego Belizario (So., 6-8) hauled down an additional nine rebounds.

LA City 48 – College of the Sequoias 52
Nov. 17

The College of Sequoias seldom plays in low scoring games but LA City’s man-to-man defense frustrated COS scorers into shooting only 32 percent from the field on 16-49 and 3-13 from the three-point line. Unfortunately for the Cubs, their scoring was hindered by 36 percent shooting on 18-50. Another key Cub statistic was a depressing 9-21 (.428) from the charity line. Despite Sequoias’ larger size on their front line, the Cubs outrebounded the Giants, 53-31.

Freshman guard Branden Fisher led all scorers with 18 points. Boyles added eight points and eight rebounds. Belizario was forceful around the basket with six points and seven rebounds.

LA City 70 – Columbia College 62
Nov. 18

The Cubs were far from uninspired as they prepared for Columbia. The Claim Jumpers, on the other hand, were before a rowdy, home audience that expected a tough contest. Their expectations were met albeit in favor of the Cubs.

LA City held Columbia scoreless until the 12:23 in the first half when a Claim Jumper three-point basket made the score 10-3. LA City’s offense struggled but their defense remained stalwart as the Cubs took a 27-19 lead into the half.

LA City jumped to a 33-19 lead with 18 minutes remaining. Columbia made a late game run and pulled to within four points, 49-45 with 8:12 remaining. It was as close as they would come to challenging the Cubs.

Fisher was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points on 7-13 from the field. Belizario played his best game of the year behind 11 points and 14 rebounds.

All-Conference 6-2 sophomore guard Eric Nelson (Hamilton HS) chipped in 10 points.