If the 22nd ranked Apaches are to secure home court throughout the NJCAA playoffs tonight’s game is a must-win. At 16-2 in conference games, Cochise is a game behind Central Arizona and Western in the loss column for first place.
The Lady Apaches will play at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30.
On Saturday the Apaches led from start to finish in a 113-60 blowout win over Chandler Gilbert.
Tim Jacobs led six Apaches in double-figures with 21 points, followed by Demeco Blue with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Joe Bell Austin added 15, Jerry Duckworth had 14, Kendyl Grover had 12 and Tevin Caldwell chipped in 10 for the Apaches, who improved to 23-3 on the season, and remained a game back of first place in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference standings.
“We did a good job early in the game defensively taking them out of it,” Cochise head coach Jerry Carrillo said.
Against Tohono O’odham last Wednesday in Cochise Stronghold the Apaches cruised to a 100-86 win over the Jegos.
Joe Bell Austin led the Apaches in scoring with 22 points. Demeco Blue followed with 14, Jerry Duckworth had 12 on four three-pointers and Tevin Caldwell and Anddrew Hawkins each had 11.
Tohono O’odham was led by Cesar Solis with 24 points.
Former Douglas Bulldog Gabe Valencia plays for the Jegos this year and played numerous minutes.
Cochise led 50-40 at the half, and stretched the advantage to 79-66 with 10 minutes to go before pumping the margin up to as many as 19.
On Saturday the 22nd ranked Lady Apaches routed South Mountain 94-55.
Six Lady Apaches scored in double-figures, led by Ashley Mitchell with 19. Yvonte Neal had 15, Johnishia Welles 14, Tianna Brown 13 and Jasmine Lemon and Madison Lopez each had 11. Justina Prairie Chief added nine.
“This week, we challenged them to really take focus and keep working on pushing the ball,” said head coach Laura Hughes, whose team ran to 23-3 on the season.
Tonight the Lady Apaches look to protect their one-game lead for the second seed in the playoffs against the team chasing them most closely — Arizona Western. Back on Jan. 5, the Apaches destroyed the Matadors in Yuma, 69-38, but Hughes expects things to be much tougher in the rematch.
“They’re going to be a lot more motivated; we’re playing for the playoff spot to host,” Hughes said. “They’ve won eight or nine in a row since we played them. I think we caught them at a good time the last time.”
Last Wednesday The Lady Apaches had little difficulty cruising to a 107-44 win over Tohono O’odham.
Johnishia Welles led Cochise in scoring with 31 points, fellow sophomore Ashley Mitchell had 22, Madison Lopez 15 and Yvonte Neal chipped in 12.
In the first meeting this season in Sells, Cochise beat Tohono O’odham Nation 98-53.
EL PASO — The Cochise College baseball team ran its winning streak to five games on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader against El Paso Community College on Saturday.
Frank Salas got the win in the first game, going 5 2/3 innings before giving way to Roy Aguirre who went the last 1 1/3 in Cochise’s 8-1 win.
Steven Naemark got the win in the second game, 6-3 with Kenton Schroter earning the save.
Salas, Tagg Duce and Nate Hale were the top Apache batters on the day.
Next weekend, the Apaches open up Arizona Community College Athletic Conference play at Eastern Arizona on Saturday.
“To go on the road and sweep four at anybody’s place is a pretty resilient thing,” Cochise head coach Todd Inglehart said. “The guys are headed in the right direction. They’re a passionate group that cares a lot.”