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Japjit Gill (#13)
Japjit Gill (#13)
By Tony Gonsalez
Special to Chabot Athletics
The Chabot men's basketball team delivered one of its biggest wins of the season on Wednesday night.
The Gladiators used a stifling defense and clutch free throws down the stretch to defeat Foothill 57-55 to move into third place of the Coast Conference-North with one game left in the regular season.
"This was definitely a big win for us tonight," Gladiators coach Keenan McMiller said. "I was proud of the way the guys bounced back after a slow start and made some key plays defensively down the stretch."
Sophomore Jabari Sweet, a sophomore out of Sacramento High, had 12 points to pace Chabot, He drained two free throws and James Logan graduate Micah Webster added another pair from the charity stripe to hold off the Owls.
Chabot (17-10, 8-5) led by three entering the second half but was unable to pull away from Foothill as the Gladiators' biggest lead in the second half was five.
Kyle Brown, a sophomore out of Dublin High, scored from inside with 1:43 remaining to give the Gladiators a 53-50 advantage.
After both teams missed shots, the Owls had a chance to tie it, but Farzin Javid missed a game-tying 3 and Sweet pulled down a key rebound. After two more fouls, Sweet was fouled to put Chabot in the bonus with 16.1 seconds left and calmly hit both free throws.
Foothill's Ethan Thompson scored on a layup and the Owls used their last timeout with 9.2 seconds remaining. Webster was fouled and he also made both free throws to give the Gladiators a two-possession lead once again.
Eric Norton hit a 3 with 2.2 left and Brown was fouled right away with .7 seconds on the clock. With the Owls out of timeouts, Brown purposely missed the free throw and Foothill was unable to get off a shot before the horn sounded.
Chabot closes the season at College of San Mateo on Friday with a chance to finish in third place and likely land a playoff berth. That would be a noteworthy accomplishment in a turnaround season under McMiller, in his second season at Chabot.
"We had guys get healthy and at the perfect time down the stretch for us," McMiller added.
The Owls (16-11, 7-6) jumped out to an 18-10 lead in the first nine minutes of the game, but the Gladiators defense settled down and held Foothill to just 13 points the rest of the half.
Chabot's Ramaj Gordon (Houston) hit back-to-back 3's and two free throws to pull Chabot within four at 22-18 with 7:41 left in the first half. Webster later hit a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run and give the Gladiators a 28-26 lead with 4:24 remaining.
Freshman Japjit Gill (Newark Memorial) nailed a deep 3 with eight seconds left as Chabot took a 34-31 lead into halftime and never trailed again.
Gordon added 11 points for Chabot. Norton led the Owls with 19 points and Thompson added 13.
Matt Schwab Media