MEN’S BASKETBALL: Playoff chances in jeopardy

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

Pima Community College fell to Mesa College 85-70 on Feb. 8.

Mesa was able to sweep the season series with Pima and in doing so they put a real dent in Pima’s playoff chances.

The Aztecs are currently tied for third place with the top four teams making the playoffs.

Mesa controlled the paint for the entire game and Pima was unable to control them.

Freshmen Murphy Gershman and Kendrick Little lead the way for Pima. Gershman finished with his 17th double-double of the seasons with 14 points and 17 rebounds.

While Little added 17 points off the bench.

Sophomore Shakir Smith had a season low of 11 points.

The Aztecs have four games remaining on their schedule and will need to win at least three to guarantee a playoff spot.

Pima fell to South Mountain Community College 109-105 in overtime on Feb. 5.

With the loss the Aztecs record fell 13-12 with an 8-9 conference record. Only one game stands between them making the playoffs and falling short.

Coach Brian Peabody is very pleased with how his team has been playing the past five games. The offensive flow has been good, but they still need to work on the defensive side of the ball.

South Mountain was in a dogfight the entire night with Pima, but they were finally able to pull away when the game went into overtime.

Smith led the way for the Aztecs with a 42-point performance. Freshman Matt O’Boyle had 17 points while Gershman contributed with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Aztecs must keep winning in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Pima defeated Scottsdale Community College 97-86 on Feb. 1.

The win was the Aztecs’ fourth in a row improving their record to 13-11 with an 8-8 record in conference.

Pima overwhelmed Scottsdale from the start. They did what they normally do when they play well and that is to have a great inside-outside game.

Gershman dominated the inside with 30 points and 18 rebounds, while O’Boyle did a little of both with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Smith took care of the perimeter with his 30 points. He also contributed four steals in the game.

The Aztecs were able to avenge a previous loss to Scottsdale from back in November.

“I’m excited about the way we’ve been playing lately,” Gershman said. “If we can build on this and keep getting better over the next few weeks we’ll be in good position to make the playoffs.”

Pima defeated Phoenix College 80-75 on Jan. 29.

The Aztecs controlled the game throughout. O’Boyle’s 22 points on 8-11 shooting and 4-5 from behind the arch led them.

Marquez also added 13 points and three assists off the bench. With the win, the Aztecs’ playoff hopes remain alive.

Peabody feels as long as his team plays the way they are playing now that his team will be a tough-out versus whomever they play.

The Aztecs played at Tohono O’Odham Community College Feb. 12.

Pg13-Men basketball-Shakir Smith

Sophomore Shakir Smith drives the ball in a Feb. 1 win over Scottsdale. (Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano)

 

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