SBVC, Panthers Split Season Series
The San Bernardino Valley College and Chaffey basketball teams will most likely share the 2016 Foothill Conference Championship as they are both 8–1 with only a game remaining.
On Feb. 17, the Wolverines were able to get their revenge at Joseph W. Snyder Gym as they beat Chaffey 81–80 in a game that perfectly exemplifies the rivalry between the two teams.
The game was for the conference championship; either the Panthers would win and become lone champions, or they would come up short and be tied in the standings.
The difference was a point.
The Wolverines (27–3) (8–1) jumped to a ten point lead in the first half, and went into the locker with a 44–37 lead, but the Panthers battled back in the second half and nearly tied the game with seconds on the clock.
Chaffey (21–6) (8–1) had an uncharacteristic 25 percent 3-point average throughout the game and it proved to be costly.
After losing to the Panthers 89–71 on Jan. 23, San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) avoided the season sweep at the hands of Chaffey with their win on Feb. 17.
“We felt like we got embarrassed last time we met Chaffey,” guard Perris Hicks said. “I haven’t got beat like that since I’ve been at SBVC.”
In their first match-up of the season, Victor Joseph led both teams with 29 total points and the Panthers grabbed a one game lead in the Foothill Conference standings.
“Everything we set out to do, we did,” head coach Jeff Klein said after the win over SBVC on Jan. 23.
While the Panthers were able to defeat SBVC in the first meeting comfortably, the Wolverines bounced back strong by putting 10 more points on the board in the rematch.
According to statistics, the biggest difference between SBVC and Chaffey on Feb. 17 was points off the bench. The Wolverine’s 19 points by players coming off the bench may have been the reason they were able to defeat Chaffey.
“SBVC just made more plays than us down the stretch,” Joseph said.
Another contribution to the loss was Chaffey’s inability to score 3-point shots, going 5–20 behind the arc. As 3-pointers are such a large part of the Panther’s success throughout the season, this statistic hurt them.
In a rivalry with close competition like this one, games become worth much more than bragging rights.
“We needed this challenge before playoffs,” Hicks said. “We are now battle tested.”
Joseph leads Chaffey and the conference this season with 577 points and Alfred Brown has 382. In addition, Christopher Edward dropped 22 against SBVC in their first meeting.
“It was really tough playing against those guys,” Hicks said. “They are the best guards we’ve played against all year.”