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Cougars snap streak

Holzwarth scores 21 to help the College of the Canyons improve to 2-6

Posted: December 2, 2008 9:50 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2008 4:55 a.m.

COC's Brooks Flanagan (42) and teammate Behrang Behjoo (33) rebound over their opponents from El Camino in Tuesday night's 72-70 Cougar victory.

 
Six seconds were all it took for the College of the Canyons men's basketball team to break its five-game losing streak.

The Cougars defeated El Camino College 72-70 at home on Tuesday night.

In a seesaw battle that ended in COC's favor, the Cougars were led by sophomore guard Jason Holzwarth.

Holzwarth finished the contest leading all scorers with 21 points and four assists.

"The team played well. We had a lot of contributions from the bench," Holzwarth said. "The bench really stepped up and played hard, and we came together as a team."

After five consecutive losses so early in the season, Holzwarth said the team went back to taking care of the fundamentals and set its sights on winning.

"We took a lot better care of the ball," he said. "Championship teams take care of the ball, and we understand our roles. Our goal is to get the ‘W'."

After trailing by five points with 1:03 left in the game, COC (2-6) scored after forcing an El Camino turnover. A 3-point shot from Holzwarth tied the score at 70.

After being called for an offensive foul at the other end of the court, the Warriors put the ball back in the Cougars' hands, and COC ran the clock down to 11 seconds.

With no fouls to spare and only six seconds in regulation, the Warriors (4-3) sent COC forward Justin Smith to the free throw line.

Then El Camino called three straight time outs.

Smith made both shots, and El Camino's efforts at the other end of the court came up short. Smith finished the contest with 12 points and seven rebounds. COC freshman forward Brannon Bradley finished the game second in scoring with 20 points and added three rebounds and two assists.

"We played hard and battled at both ends," said El Camino assistant coach Ronnie Green. "We just came up a little short."

El Camino had its biggest lead in the first half at 31-27 after going on a 12-0 run.

The Warriors were led by freshman center David Vasquez, who led his team with 18 points. He also had five rebounds.

After halftime, with COC down 31-27, the Warriors turned the ball over three times, and the Cougars tied it at 31.
But after COC defensive lapses and miscues, the Warriors pulled ahead 50-43.

However, the Cougars rallied back and put the game in their own hands.

"One area that I am proud of is that we played hard the whole game," said COC head coach Howard Fisher. "I think we have made progress and did a lot of things better, including limiting our turnovers and improving our free throws."

Next up for the Cougars is the Rancho Vista Classic Tournament in Lancaster, beginning Friday.

wmcneal@the-signal.com


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