Four sophomores, including the team’s leading scorer Troy Owens, point guard Raphael “Cinco” Durr, and team captains Gabe Serna and Jhalen Lumpkins, were recognized before a 92-65 rout over Folsom Lake College Feb. 13 in a very unusual finish.
Folsom Lake began the game with only five players. In the final eight minutes of the game, two of the Falcons’ players fouled out, allowing the Panthers to play with a five-on-three advantage.
It wasn’t, however, the first time that head coach Andrew Jones had experienced such lopsidedness.
“I’ve been on the other side of it,” said Jones. “With our 2005-06 team, we finished the game with three. I had to call a timeout because I don’t know what to do in this situation.”
For most of the team, it was the first time they’d experienced such a unique opposition.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” said Lumpkins. “You don’t want to embarrass them, but it’s just too easy to score. You want to have a respect for the game.”
Serna’s first 3-pointer of the game not only gave City a 13-2 lead, but it also gave him the school record for 3-pointers made in a single season, breaking Chris Blunt’s 24-year-old record of 80 in 1993-94. During the next timeout, the official scorers made the announcement of the new record. It came as a surprise to Serna.
“I didn’t even know about it,” said Serna, who received a congratulatory email from Blunt, the long-time record holder, after the game. “A lot of my teammates knew and my coaches knew, but once they announced it, it was a surreal moment. It’s something I’ll cherish forever.”
Serna’s five 3-pointers set the new school record at 85 for a single season. His game-high 27 points moved him into the Top 25 on City’s career scoring list.
The Panthers as a team also set a new record for most 3-pointers in a season with 251, shattering the previous record of 225 during the ’93-’94 campaign. Serna, Owens and freshman Ryan Reed all hit more than 60 3-pointers this year.
The two sophomores who transferred to City College made a major impact as well.
Owens, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, was the second leading scorer in the Big 8 Conference, averaging 23.1 points per game during league play, and his 20.7 PPG during the entire season was 10th best in the state at the end of the regular season. He is only the 12th player in school history to average over 20 points for a season.
Owens’ 33 points Jan. 6 against American River College was tied for the ninth highest total in a single game in City College history.
Point guard Raphael “Cinco” Durr had one of the best single-season assist totals in program history and became just the fourth Panther ever to record a triple-double when he posted 13 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists Jan. 6 against American River.
Lumpkins admitted to being emotional heading into his final game at City College.
“I’m going to miss this place,” he said. “It’s one of my many second homes.”
Jones pegged Lumpkins as the team’s “glue guy.” The team’s co-captain could guard multiple positions and had no holes in his game, Jones said. But it was more of his attitude and unselfishness that will be remembered at City.
“He was the reason we had a lot of success early,” said Jones. “He’s a guy who really believes in what we’re doing here. He’s a guy who 15 years from now, I’ll get a phone call, ‘Hey, Coach, I’m in town, you want to go get lunch?’ When I think of this team 10 years from now, I’ll say this was Jhalen’s team.”
The City men’s team finished the season at 16-13, with an 8-8 mark in the Big 8 Conference.
For more info on SCC basketball, visit sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/mbkb.