Henok Yigzaw hit seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points as the Cuesta College men’s basketball team routed Lassen 87-56 at the San Joaquin Delta Tournament in Stockton on Friday.
The Cougars shot 55 percent from the field as a team, including Yigzaw’s 7-of-9 performance.
“He was left open and he had the hot hand,” Cuesta head coach Rusty Blair said of Yigzaw’s shooting. “The strategy is to always find the hot shooter, and tonight he was the guy.”
Xavier Mylleville posted a double-double, scoring 12 and grabbing 10 boards in just 19 minutes while Phillip Jiminez added 13 points.
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Christian Couther’s 10 points paced Lassen, which was held to just 29 percent shooting as a team.
Roger Guardia, who was named Western State Conference Player of the Week on Friday, added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars (11-2), who led 44-28 at the half.
Cuesta point guard Christian Koutras had a game-high eight assists, as many as the entire Lassen team.
The Cougars will play Napa Valley in the championship semifinals at 5 tonight. Looming in a potential championship match is No. 2 San Francisco City College, which will play host school Delta in the other semifinal.
With Cuesta leading by as many as 30 points early in the second half, Blair was afforded the rare luxury of emptying his bench.
“It was tremendously important considering the competition we’ll be playing (in the next two games),” Blair said.
“Everyone played well and the role players didn’t allow (Lassen) to get any closer to us.”
Saddleback 48, Cuesta 30
Lauren Maurer led Cuesta (3-8) with nine points at the Orange Coast College Tournament. The Cougars trailed 14-12 at halftime.
The Cougars will play Southwestern in the consolation semifinals today at 1 p.m.
BIG WEST ACADEMIC PLAYERS
Seven Cal Poly student athletes were named to the Big West Academic Fall All-Conference team.
The women’s soccer team, which reached the conference championship match, placed senior defender Carissa Voegele and sophomore defender McKenzie Orand on the team.
Senior defender Jeremy Cleveland and sophomore midfielder Wes Feighner were honored from the men’s soccer team.
Sophomore middle blocker Anicia Santos was the volleyball team’s lone representative, while the cross country teams’ honorees were senior Leif Anderson and junior Rebecca Paddack.
To be eligible for the all-academic team, student-athletes must maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average, complete at least one full academic year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award was received and compete in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests.
MEN’S WATER POLO
Coming off its 31st consecutive trip to the playoffs, Cuesta College placed seven players on the all-Western State Conference team, led by sophomore Hunter Hamaker.
Hamaker, who scored 89 goals for the Cougars this season, made his second appearance on both the all-conference first team and the all-American list, making him just the 16th player in school history with such distinction.
Lawrence Bardelli was also named to the first team and all-American list after leading Cuesta with 103 goals.
Sophomore Karl Weit, an Atascadero High graduate, joined sophomore Jake Akins on the conference first team while freshmen Wesley Hain, Bradley Hamar and Nic Lalanne were all named to the conference second team.