The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The College of San Mateo women’s basketball team finds itself in a somewhat unfamiliar place this weekend — its home court.
Since beating Cabrillo 77-53 Nov. 7 in their home debut, the Bulldogs have played their last six games on the road.
Traipsing around the state has paid off, however, as CSM has compiled a 6-2 mark heading into the Tom Martinez Invitational tournament which the Bulldogs host this weekend.
CSM has a very good chance to take another step in its development if it can win its tournament championship. The Bulldogs’ side of the bracket is set up for a run to the final but, in addition to the 14th-ranked Bulldogs, the No. 6 and No. 12 ranked teams in Northern California are on the other side of the bracket.
There are four games in Friday’s tournament opener. Diablo Valley, which started the season ranked No. 1 in Northern California, and is currently No. 6, will face No. 12 Contra Costa College at 1 p.m. Reedley (3-5) and Shasta (7-7) tip off at 3 p.m., Santa Monica (2-6) takes on Solano (3-7) at 5 p.m. while CSM and Butte wrap up first-day action at 7 p.m.
The semifinals and loser bracket games will be played Saturday, with the consolation, third-place and championship game slated for Sunday. Game times are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The Bulldogs are just one of the four county community college teams off to a good start in the 2015-16 season. The Skyline women are off to a 7-3 start, the Cañada men are at 5-5, while the Skyline men’s team is only a couple games below the .500 mark at 4-6.
All will be in action toward the end of the week. The Skyline women will play in the City College of San Francisco tournament this weekend, opening against L.A. Valley at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Skyline men host Gavilan at 5 p.m. Friday, while the Cañada men will be on the road to Gilroy to take on Gavilan at 6 p.m. Friday.
The Lady Trojans have won three of their last four games and went 2-1 in the Fresno tournament last week. Stephanie Allen, a sophomore forward out of Palo Alto, leads Skyline with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Former Burlingame standout Dana Michaels, a sophomore forward, is averaging 11 points per game.
The Skyline men have been in a bit of a funk recently, going 1-2 in its own tournament last weekend. The Trojans are 3-2 in their last five games, however. Tavita Jimenez, a sophomore guard out of Serra, leads Skyline with 14 points per game.
Cañada has four players scoring in double figures, led by James Testa, a sophomore guard out of Carlmont, who is scoring just over 16 points per game. Brian Garrett and Jacqui Biggans, out of Serra, are both averaging 13.4 points, with Biggans also dishing out an average of five assists per game. Rodrigo Puliceno, a sophomore forward from Burlingame, is scoring 10 points and pulling down 7.2 rebounds per game.