Cuesta College

Cuesta College men’s basketball team downs Yuba with buzzer-beating 3-pointer

The Cuesta College men’s basketball team wrapped up the Allan Hancock Tournament with a nailbiting win Sunday, beating Yuba 71-69.

Cuesta, which finished as the tournament runner-up, was trailing by one with 0.9 seconds remaining and had the ball. Coach Rusty Blair said he called a timeout three times to explain the inbound play, but felt Yuba caught wind of the play and so he made a last-second adjustment.

The play resulted in Karem Ozel getting a “wide-open look for 3,” Blair said. Ozel nailed it for the win as the buzzer sounded.

Yuba, the No. 4-ranked team in the state in the California Community College Athletic Association poll, has three players committed to Division I colleges, Blair said.

“That’s a heck of a team to face up to. We seemed to be up to the task today. It was like playing a Division I team,” he said. “I’m really happy we got this win against one of the best teams in the state.”

Rafael Eleftheriou scored 16 points to lead the Cougars (4-2), and was named to the all-tournament team. Ozel finished with 15 points, all in the second half. Roberto Mantovani added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Cuesta will play in the Citrus Tournament beginning Friday.