Apaches win one, lose oneBy Bruce Whetten
The Cochise College Apaches won one and lost one last week.
On Feb. 15 the Apaches were in Yuma for a rematch with the Arizona Western College Matadors. Cochise lost that game 57-53.
Three nights later in Douglas Cochise had a 17 point lead evaporate before coming away with a 82-78 win over Mesa College.
Going into the final week of the regular season the Apaches are now tied for first with Arizona Western. Cochise has the tiebreaker advantage however because Western was swept by third place Eastern Arizona College who split with Cochise.
In the game with Arizona Western the Apaches had just two players score in double figures. Michael Maya lead the Apaches with 21 points. Nathan Sobey followed with 12.
The Apaches led 31-26 at the half but in the second half managed to score just 22 points.
In the game with Mesa Saturday night Nnamdi Ezenwa’s three late in the first half gave Cochise a 43-26 lead, their largest of the night.
Cochise led 46-31 at the half and saw Mesa go on a 12-2 run to start the second half pulling within five.
Matt Koreheck pushed that lead back up to 10 but Mesa came back. Down five with just under a minute to play Mesa sank a three and was fouled on the shot. The T-Birds converted the free-throw pulling within one, at 77-76.
Clutch free throw shooting by Nathan Sobek and Michael Maya helped Cochise maintain its lead and come away with the win improving to 23-5 on the season.
Maya led the Apaches in scoring with 23 points, Ezenwa followed with 16 and Sobey contributed 14.
Cochise has a rare Tuesday night, Friday night schedule this week. The Apaches were at Scottsdale last night and will host Phoenix College Friday at 7:30 in Cochise Stronghold.
The playoffs begin next week.
The Lady Apaches lost to Mesa 63-59 last Saturday night a Cochise after falling to Western 62-50 three nights earlier in Yuma.
Against Western J.J. Alli led Cochise with 15 points and Ashley Mitchell had 10.
Cochise trailed 38-25 at the half, and played Western even in the second half.
Against Mesa Valerie Galvez scored 17 points to lead Cochise. Ashley Mitchell followed with 13 and Alli had 10.
Cochise is sitting in third place in the conference and had a good chance of heading to the post season playoffs as the three seed.