SRJC men's basketball team begins playoffs Friday

The Santa Rosa JC men's basketball team, a Big 8 Conference title safely in hand, begins its quest for the CCCAA state championship Friday when Ohlone comes to town.

Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Haehl Pavilion and both teams come in with 20-8 records.

The Bear Cubs are the No. 6 seed and Ohlone is No. 11.

Santa Rosa is 10-1 on its home court.

“I've been watching film of Ohlone and they're very good,” SRJC coach Craig McMillan said.

“They play in a tough conference (Coast-North) and have good shooters.”

Santa Rosa prevailed in the Big 8 for the fourth time in six years, this season with an 11-3 record.

Ohlone finished third in its league with an 8-4 mark.

“We've gotten a lot better as the season progressed,” McMillan said. “Only Kiel Long had played substantial minutes for us last year.”

Besides being rewarded with a home game in the first round, the Bear Cubs also got more good news this week.

Erik Poulsen, who finished his high school career playing for Montgomery, was named Big 8 Conference most valuable player.

The 6-foot-11 center averaged 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds this season.

“He deserved the award,” McMillan said. “He played very well all season, especially in big games.”

Long, like Poulsen a Montgomery alum, made first team all-conference as did teammate Justin Frazier.

McMillan was voted coach of the year.

Santa Rosa will be seeking its second state championship. The Bear Cubs took home the crown in 2014.

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