JC basketball: Fresno City men, women headed to state final four

The Fresno City College men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed to the state final four.

The Rams men, seeded No. 3 in the North Regional, defeated No. 7 Contra Costa 100-89 on Saturday. The second-seeded Rams women, in the opener of a doubleheader at the Fresno City gym, outlasted No. 3 Sierra 71-62.

The men will face SoCal top-seeded Saddleback next Saturday, while the women meet SoCal No. 1 Mt. San Antonio on Friday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. at Las Positas College in Livermore.

But for now, both teams will savor state elite eight victories.

“Like I said numerous times, last year’s freshmen really felt, no reason to, that they let us down,” said Rams women’s coach Brian Tessler, who has been to the state tournament nine times – six with Fresno City and three with Reedley. “To see them come back and win league and get us to the final four I think it says a lot about their resilience.”

Last season, Tessler’s team finished second in the Central Valley Conference and was eliminated in the third round of the playoffs.

It was even worse for the men, bounced out of the 2015 postseason in the second round as the top seed.

“Really proud of our guys,” Rams men’s assistant Thomas Ammon said. “Although we haven’t accomplished our goals, it feels good to be there. We definitely beat a good team tonight.”

This will be Ed Madec’s sixth trip to the state tournament as the men’s coach, the last coming in 2012 when they won it all.

BJ Shelton paced Fresno City with 25 points. The Rams had to withstand a 10-0 run by the Comets to open the second half.

Fresno City (28-6) made nine three-pointers, four by Evan Stillahn.

Anthony Sullen finished with a game-high 40 points for Contra Costa (25-8).

Jasmine Black finished with a game-high 17 for the women’s team, which lost two of its first three games to open the season but is now 29-3. Madison Barnes and Toni Edwards each finished with 13 points apiece.

Raegan Lillie led the Wolverines (26-7) with 16 points.

College of the Sequoias falls – NorCal top-seeded City College of San Francisco was too much for the Giants, rolling to an 84-46 victory.

The Giants end the season at 20-12. CCSF improves to 30-1 and advances to play Chaffey (25-6) in the other men’s semifinal.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee

State JC final four

March 11-13 at Las Positas College in Livermore.


  • Saturday: No. 1 South Saddleback vs. No. 2 North Fresno City, 7 p.m.; No. 1 North City College of San Francisco vs. No. 2 South Chaffey, 5 p.m.


  • Friday: No. 1 South Mt. San Antonio vs. No. 2 North Fresno City, 7 p.m.; No. 1 North City College of San Francisco vs. No. 2 South East Los Angeles, 5 p.m.