The Fighting Owls of Citrus College took a road trip to Orange County on Thursday, taking with them the confidence of an eight game win streak. Citrus would make the return trip having handled their business in a 98-73 route of Cypress College.
Having recently moved into the number one SoCal spot in the Signal the Light Rankings, Citrus has been playing some of the best basketball in the state this season. Relying on the fantastic depth of the bench, and lights out three-point shooting, the Owls are positioning themselves to make a solid run into the state playoffs this year.
A major factor once again for Citrus in yesterday's win was team three-point shooting percentage. The Owls are shooting 35% from the arc as a team this year, and eclipsed that last night as they burned through the net at a 43.5% clip. Possibly the most impressive part of that stat is the number of players involved in creating it. The Owls have a host of sharpshooters. It can be frustrating for opponents to recognize who the shooters are and this results in Citrus players getting open looks from deep on a steady basis. To put this in perspective, there are currently NINE Citrus players who have scored from beyond the perimeter this year and all nine of them shoot over 29% from deep (Austin Clarke is shooting a whopping 47.2%). If you can stop guards Jeremy Smith, Miles Crawford, Austin Clarke and Andrew Ammann, don't count your chickens before they hatch. Because now you'll have to rotate and defend the lethal shooting of forwards Alexios Ziska, Jesse Elrod and Kyle Gray. And if you make it to halftime without wanting to quit, just wait because reserves Treyvon Watts-Hale and Psalm Maduakor are ready to fire away without hesitation. When you add all that up and sprinkle it with the dominating presence of New Zealander big man Quintin Bailey in the paint, you have yourself a 12-2 basketball team on a nine game winning streak.
Citrus moves into the holiday season with two tournaments on their plate. The Owls will travel first to the Compton Tartar Classic on the 18-20th and then to foothill corridor rival Chaffey College for 3 games on January 3-5th at the Chaffey Challenge Tournament. The Owls will host LA Valley in its first conference game of the season on Saturday January 13th.