by Angel Barker
For the first time under the Cal Poly Humboldt name, the university hosted the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championship basketball tournament.
Although neither basketball team for Cal Poly Humboldt was a part of the tournament, it was a great success for the university. The three day tournament took place from March 3 through 5, creating a lot of foot traffic to the Lumberjack Arena.
“It is awesome for us to host the CCAA Championship tournament as we get to show people in the conference how special Cal Poly Humboldt and Humboldt County is,” said Joe Danahey, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, in an email statement.
“They get to see how beautiful our campus is and the surrounding area,” Danahey said. “We also get to bring the best student-athletes and programs in NCAA division II to our campus.”
For the men’s championship game, it was California State University San Marcos versus California State University San Bernardino. San Marcos dominated the entire game from winning tip off to scoring the first three points with an impressive swish from outside the three point line.
San Bernardino was never far behind, with four minutes left in the game, San Bernardino was only three points down. However, they were unable to come back and the San Marcos proved to play better, leaving the final score 85-71.
The women’s side of the tournament was controlled by California State University East Bay. Just like the winners of the men’s team, they won tip off and scored the first points. They were ahead the whole game, but the San Marcos women were neck and neck with them the entire time.
Going into the second quarter, San Marcos was only three points behind, but before half time, East Bay was able to steal the ball twice in back to back plays. By half time, East Bay was up by nine points. The final score was 80-66 with East Bay winning their third CCAA championship. The women are on a seven game winning streak going into their next tournament.
There were many game highlights, but for Cal Poly Humboldt student Andrew Gonzales, who was working security for the tournament, it was being able to learn what the game of basketball is.
“The more I keep watching, the more I understand the game,” Gonzales said.
Josh Doody, Assistant Athletic Director for Financial Operations, was a huge part of making the tournament happen. For him, watching the games throughout the tournament was the best part.
“[My biggest highlight was] the increasing caliber of play that really showcases the talent in the conference,” Doody said.
For Danahey his highlight was deeper than the game.
“Just being able to reconnect with my colleagues and also hang out with the game officials and also with the coaches from the 12 teams,” Danahey said. “I have been involved in the CCAA for 17 years. 14 years at SF State and three at Humboldt, so I have made a lot of friendships in this conference.”
Danahey explained that in order for a school to host a post season CCAA tournament, they go through a bidding process that takes place two years prior. This is not the last of the tournaments to be hosted by Cal Poly Humboldt as the university is going to host the men’s soccer tournament in 2023.