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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College prepares for familiar opponent in first round of playoffs
Greg Milton III (11) in the middle of the huddle, getting his team hyped, before their final home game against San Joaquin Delta College. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

By Jason Reed | Sports Editor | [email protected]

Despite the Panthers men’s basketball team stumbling through its regular season and finishing just two games over .500, the team made the playoffs and will face West Valley College Feb. 27 at City College.

The Panthers started 11–6 but ended 4–7 in their last 11 games. City College had one final impression to make on the tournament selection committee, and the opportunity came Feb. 22 on Sophomore Night when they hosted 2018–2019 Big 8 Conference Champions San Joaquin Delta College.

“I told them (the players) before the Delta game that if we lose this, there is no way we’re getting in (the playoffs). If we win, we have an outside chance,” said City College Head Coach Andrew Jones. “That’s what I really thought at the time.”

After losing to the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs earlier in the season by 5 points, the Panthers were able to split the season series at home, coming away with a 79–74 victory that earned them a playoff berth.

City College leading scorer Greg Milton III finished with a team-high 23 points to go along with eight rebounds.

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Greg Milton III (11) knocks down a 3-pointer over Jimmy Beltz (13) in their 79-74 victory over San Joaquin Delta College. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

“We just had a chip on our shoulder. The last loss that we took—we took that personal,” Milton said about the team’s defeat against last-place Modesto College. “We trying to build from this, and we’ve been in position all season and have had ups and downs, but that’s what it’s about.”

Milton was also selected to First-Team All League in the Big 8 Conference. His teammate, sophomore Kyle Williams, received an honorable mention for a selected spot. Williams finished with 15 points in his final regular season game at City College.

The Panthers’ (15–13, 7–9) win created a three-way tie with American River College (15–11, 7–9) and Sierra College (11–17, 7–9). Because City College won its game, the ARC Beavers were able to clinch a playoff spot, and both teams avoided dropping below the fifth spot in the standings, which would have eliminated them from contention.

City College clinched the 15th seed and will host 18th-seed West Valley College in the playoffs. The Panthers played the Vikings Dec. 14 in the West Valley Holiday Classic and came away with an 87–81 victory. Milton scored a season-high 37 points and connected on eight 3-pointers in that game. After the two teams tied in the first half, the Panthers then outscored the Vikings by 16 in the second half.

The Panthers lost at home to the Butte College Roadrunners in City College’s last playoff game two years ago. Jones said he knows his players will be excited but added how important it is for him to prepare the team this time around.

“Last time in the playoffs, I don’t think I handled the preparation very well, so we’re ready to handle it better this time,” Jones said.

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