The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The Coast North men’s basketball league schedule gets underway Wednesday with a friendly district rivalry when state No. 14 ranked College of San Mateo (11-3) hosts Cañada (3-10) at 7 p.m.
Two of the Bulldogs’ three non-league losses came from the only undefeated team among the 100 two-year college men’s contingents in the state — capped by a 95-83 defeat at the hands of Columbia College-Sonora (14-0) in last Friday’s New Year’s Eve showdown.
Columbia finally took a 58-57 lead on a driving layup by Caleb Chiang with 12:03 remaining at College Heights gym and hung on for the victory.
The score was knotted twice and San Mateo took leads four times, the last at 57-56 on a 3-pointer by JD Carson with 12:49 left in the game.
“Tonight wasn’t our night,” CSM coach Mike Marcial said after the Columbia game. “But we did a lot of good things. We came off the offensive glass well.”
But the Bulldogs couldn’t put the ball through the hoop enough down the stretch, especially from 3-point range, as the Claim Jumpers took control.
The Bulldogs closed to within eight points at 89-81 with 1:17 left on back-to-back baskets by Sam Manu and Desai Lopez. But that was as close as they would get.
Manu and Bobby Arenas were the game high scorers, with 20 points apiece. Carson added 13 points. Arenas and Carson each netted a trio of threes and Manu had a pair.
Isiah Jones led six Columbia players in double figures with 19 points.
San Mateo had an excellent pre-league campaign, beating top teams from the Big Eight Conference (Folsom Lake) and Coast South (San Jose), plus current Bay Valley leader Merritt. The only other loss was to state No. 10 West Valley in a crossover with the Coast South. West Valley gave top-ranked City College of San Francisco its only setback since the 2018-19 season. (The Rams were undefeated in the COVID-19 interrupted 2019-20 campaign.)
CCSF and No. 6 Las Positas both finished non-league at 13-1, making the Coast North the toughest league in the state. Chabot (8-4) and Skyline (8-6) also enter league with strong records.