FRESNO — Fast-break, run-and-gun basketball, it wasn't.
Action between College of the Canyons and San Jose City in the opening round of the California Community College Tournament was so deliberate that the teams often appeared to be playing chess rather than basketball.
In the end, San Jose checkmated Canyons, 75-70, in overtime before a small crowd in Selland Arena to advance to today's second round.
Canyons (22-6), the champion of the Mountain Valley Conference, had a eight-point lead midway through the first half. Then, for the next six minutes, the Cougars did not score a point and the Jaguars went on to gain a 34-31 advantage at halftime.
The score remained close throughout the second half. San Jose had a 66-63 lead with 20 seconds left in the game when Canyons' James Mixon scored on a controversial three-point play to send the game into overtime.
Mixon, a 6-foot freshman guard, was fouled as he put up a shot that failed to go into the basket. To San Jose partisans' surprise and anger, referees ruled that Jaguars center Curtis Bradley was guilty of goal-tending.
Mixon was given credit for the basket as San Jose fans booed the decision, then made the free throw to tie the score.
In overtime, however, San Jose (26-7), the runner-up from the Golden Gate Conference, dominated. The Jaguars scored the first three points of overtime for a 69-66 lead and Canyons never recovered.
If it were not for a few spurts, the game would have been extremely low scoring. Both teams seemed to decide to run at the same time, then to stop running at the same time--working the ball patiently around their respective keys.
Arnell Jones, San Jose's 6-6 sophomore forward, turned out to be a player that Canyons just could not stop.
Jones scored a game-high 31 points by making 11 of 20 field goals and 9 of 13 free throws in addition to grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds. Jones scored four straight baskets for San Jose during one stretch in the second half to keep the Jaguars in position to win.
The Cougars, who have won more on the strength of their unselfish team play and tough defense than anything else this season, did not play badly.
As usual, Canyons got balanced scoring. Pete Coeler had 15 to lead the Cougars, Karl Tompkins had 14, Mixon had 13 and Don White had 12. But Canyons just did not have enough to win this one.
"We had a great season but this was not a good way to end it," Canyons Coach Lee Smelser said. "It's not going to be a fun trip home.
"We had a shot at winning it, but we didn't make some key foul shots and missed some easy baskets that we usually make. That six-minute stretch without scoring really hurt."
A couple of hours later at Selland, Butte College knocked Glendale out of the state tournament, 79-72.
Fred Jones scored a game-high 30 points to lead Butte, the 26-3 champions of the Golden Valley Conference. The Vaqueros, a co-champion of the Inland Valley Conference, finished the season at 20-12.
"We played well in spots and bad in spots," Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin said. "We had a five-minute spurt in the first half when we shot poorly and fell behind by eight points, and that, in essence, was the game."
Bill Carr made 12 of 17 field-goal attempts en route to a team-high 26 points for Glendale, while teammates John Hoffman and Toros Yetenekian added 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Glendale began the season by losing 7 of its first 9 games but rallied to win 18 of its last 23.
In other games Friday, Sacramento City beat Grossmont, 88-79; El Camino beat Ohlone, 70-54; Long Beach City beat City College of San Francisco, 83-77 and Taft beat Skyline, 81-64.