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Playoffs up in the air for COC hoops

Posted: February 23, 2014 10:23 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2014 10:23 p.m.

The College of the Canyons men's basketball team finished the regular season with a 12-13 record. The team will find out whether or not it makes the playoffs today.

This isn’t a situation Greg Herrick is used to, nor is it something he likes very much.

The longtime College of the Canyons women’s basketball head coach just finished up his worst regular season since his first year on the job 22 years ago.

Herrick’s COC Cougars ended up with a 13-14 record, which is the program’s worst since Herrick guided the team to a 12-18 mark in the 1992-93 season.

His team hasn’t posted a losing record since then.

Even worse, COC might miss the postseason for the first time in 20 years following Saturday’s 75-72 season-ending loss to Allan Hancock College.

“That was a very disappointing loss,” Herrick said. “We had everything to gain and you would think that would be the motivation, but that wasn’t enough.”

As a whole, this won’t go down as a banner year for either COC basketball team.

The men also finished their 2013-14 campaign on Saturday, losing 77-71 to Allan Hancock to finish with a 12-13 overall record.

That puts the COC men’s team in a tie for fourth place in the Western State Conference, North Division and a long shot to make the playoffs.

“Our ability to close games was not consistent and I think the inexperience factor only goes so far because by conference you’re experienced,” said COC men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher. “With the competitive schedule we had, we should have been able to close out some of these games toward the end of the year.”

Not all hope is lost for the women’s team though.

Had the Cougar women won on Saturday, they would have finished in outright second place in the WSC North. That would have given COC an automatic bid into the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California playoffs.

As it is, COC is in a three-way tie for second in conference and will have to wait until today to find out if it earns an at-large bid.

The 20-year streak hangs in the balance.

And a week ago, things were looking up for COC after winning five straight conference games and surging up the standings.

But the Cougars finished the year with back-to-back losses, falling 86-66 to Ventura on Wednesday before Saturday’s loss to Allan Hancock.

“I thought we had turned the corner on some of the things we had been doing wrong,” Herrick said. “We kind of reverted back to what we were doing before we went on that little run.”

Both teams will find out whether or not playoffs are in the picture today when the brackets are announced.

Either way, Fisher called this season a good learning experience for a lot of his players.

“As a group, we learned how competitive this level is and your ability to do the little things that matters at the end of games and I think being able to do those things on a daily basis at a high level is an important tool,” Fisher said.


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