By Diana Viera
Sophomore guard Roger Hamel carried a young Dons team on his back, keeping his cool while sinking a game-winning last second free throw to score the team’s first victory, snapping a six-game losing streak.
“It feels great, it feels even better since it was my first game back. I made the two free throws to set the win, came up big and hopefully I continue this season,” Hamel said.
Coming back from a two-year layoff while recovering from injury, Hamel made his first college game count, scoring 11 points and making the winning free throw with 0.4 seconds left to lift Santa Ana College over Cuyamaca College, 66-65, in its first home game.
“They’re fun to be around, they all got good attitudes. We’re very young for a community college team,” Head Coach David Breig said.
Sophomore forward De’Jon Frazier has strong ambitions for the team after having it rough during the Dons six-game losing streak to open the season.
“It felt really good, not only was that our first home win but also our first win altogether,” Frazier said.
“We had a lot of rough patches but I feel like we kinda worked out all the kinks and we should get a lot more W’s this season.”
Freshman forward Tyson Powell brings leadership to a young team. He holds himself accountable for the rebounds he’s missed, and looks to pound the boards more aggressively to help the team churn out victories.
“We started off 0-6, but we got our first win at home,” Powell said.
“So hopefully that will give us some head of steam to win more games. That’s about it right now. We’re just taking one game at a time.”
The Dons were either within five points or tied at halftime in each of the first six games, but Breig attributes inexperience and lack of depth as reasons why the team couldn’t close out games.
“I’m always hopeful to have a good season,” Breig said.
“We got Roger [Hamel] back, who’s our starting PG, so things are a lot better with him. We have high hopes to continue off this win.”
With Hamel’s return to shore up the Dons back court, Breig hopes the freshmen grow along the way and help put together a solid season.
“As season prolongs and we move on we should mature and should get better and have better chemistry,” Breig said.