Sierra men silence Sac City in Big 8 shootoutBy: Matt Folsom/Courtesy
A once-promising season looked to be floundering after Sacramento City College took a 45-44 over Sierra College mens basketball going into intermission Feb. 8. A loss would be the third in four Big 8 Conference games for the Wolverines.
That’s when Sierra’s Jordan Ngatai decided enough was enough. Ngatai (pronounced Nut-tie), the 6-6 freshman from Wellington, New Zealand, exploded for 13 points after the break to lead the Wolverines to a 89-84 win over the visiting Panthers.
Ngatai got plenty of support from Matt Scott’s 15 rebounds and Scott’s defense of Sac City’s big men Kyron Brown and Garrett Cline. The two were held to five points between them and kept Sierra in the thick of the postseason picture.
The Wolverines (16-7, 7-3 Big 8) routed the Panthers (7-13, 2-8) 101-84 in their first meeting. The rematch was a back-and-forth battle with plenty of offense from both.
Gabe Finley canned 11 of his 13 points in the first to help keep the Wolverines in the game.
Ngatai ended up with 22 points, followed by 18 from Scott. Pogos Trunyan was big off the bench, draining a trio of long-range threes on his way to 11 points, while the steady Devin Murphy notched 10.
The game was in doubt until Scott converted a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left and Sierra reserve Devin Campbell hit two clutch charity tosses to close out the scoring with 16 seconds to play.
The win kept Sierra in third place in the Big 8, two games behind Santa Rosa and one behind San Joaquin Delta.