Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Every win will be important for building a case to make the playoffs the Napa Valley College men’s basketball team, so their 71-60 win over Solano Wednesday night was a much needed win.
Napa Valley (14-10 overall, 10-3 Bay Valley Conference) held a 25-point lead in the first half at one point, but the Falcons (8-16, 3-10 BVC) got the lead to within nine late in the game.
“In the second half we gave up 43 points, and that negates the 17 we gave up in the first half,” Napa Valley College coach Steve Ball said of how NVC let their big first half lead slip away. “We fell asleep at the wheel a little bit, and just kinda you know ‘wrestling your kid brother’ and struggled a little bit that way. We need to continue to play defense for forty minutes, because we’re going to need that Friday, and we’re going to need that the rest of the three games we have and hopefully we get a fourth, a fifth, or a sixth who knows?”
“We kinda relaxed on the defensive end, because we were up a little bit, so I feel like that was the cause of us letting them back into the game,” NVC forward Calvin Johnson said of the lead slipping away. “We held it down to the end and came out with the victory, and that’s all that matters to me.”
On the night the Storm was led by Johnson. He had 14 points, and five rebounds.
“I’m just one of those guys that’s just high energy off the bench, do whatever it takes, whatever my team needs me to do, and tonight it was just rebound, clean up, secure the rebounds, outlet it and I’m just doing my part,” Johnson explained of his performance in which the Storm needed every single point he contributed.
“That’s an eighth guy that’s been our leading scorer to add to the mix,” Ball added on how NVC has had multiple different leading scorers on the season. “Cal does a good job, it’s harder for him to play the inside spot against a Yuba, but against them he just destroyed them on the glass in the first half, and made a couple of those in the high post against the zone. He stopped on a dime and shot that little 12 footer, made a couple buckets there. He works really hard at the glass, and when he does that and lets the rest of the game come to him he does really well.”
At the beginning of the season Johnson wasn’t logging as many minutes as he is now.
“I’ve just been putting in work outside of the gym, outside of practice,” Johnson recalled as to what’s been getting more minutes. “I’ve just been waiting for my opportunity, and the coaches have realized that and they’ve given me a lot more playing time off the bench and I’m just going to convert it, so I’m going to go onto the court and play my hardest.”
“We had Joe (Fons) missing for a week with an ankle injury, so that just goes to our depth to be honest with you,” Ball explained of the added minutes for Johnson. “Malcolm (Bracy) starts tonight and does well. We’ve got some good depth and Joe went down with an injury and other guys had to step up, and James (Ned) and Cal are the next man up mentality.”
Amancho Adopo added 13 points and nine rebounds. Armani Mills also pitched in 12 points with four rebounds.
“Fekou (Adopo) was very aggressive tonight, also looking to pass find others,” Johnson explained of the other two double-digit scorers on the night. “Armani was knocking down all of the open looks. The other team (Solano) kinda sagged off of him a little bit and in return he made them pay, so that’s what he’s supposed to do.”
The win helps Napa Valley’s case to make the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs. As of right now NVC is second-place in the BVC standings behind Yuba-Marysville. On Friday the Storm will visit Yuba who they lost 99-89 to in the previous meeting on January 11th.