Yuba College surges past Skyline to advance in CCCAA NorCal Regional

Mar. 4—Demarreya Lewis-Cooper knew that the Yuba College men's basketball team was far too talented to suffer the same fate as last year.

"Having the record we have we could not let it happen again," Lewis-Cooper said.

Lewis-Cooper operated a similar game plan and took control in the second half in front of a packed house Saturday as fifth-seeded Yuba College avoided a round two exit by taking down No. 12 Skyline College, 63-51 to advance into the California Community College Athletic Association Northern California Regional Elite Eight to take on No. 4 San Jose City College (22-7) on the road on March 9.

Lewis-Cooper had 22 points to lead Yuba (27-2) into its first NorCal Elite Eight in two years — and the first for Lewis-Cooper and the six sophomores that have taken the Bay Valley Conference by storm with a 32-0 record in two seasons.

"Having seven returners coming back we all had that fire under us," Lewis-Cooper said. "It fueled us insane because we know what we're capable of."

Down a point at the break after Skyline (20-11) hit four 3-pointers to take the lead late in the opening half, Yuba found its second-half groove about the nine-minute mark of the second half, outscoring Skyline, 22-12 the rest of the way. During that crucial stretch, the 49ers converted 13-of-17 free throws to seal the game and the team's fate in round two of the 2024 postseason.

"Second half is our role so it just took all of us to come together," Lewis-Cooper said.

Lewis-Cooper is not just a scoring threat, he was a facilitator down the stretch. He knows Yuba has size and athleticism on most of its opponents this year in Devon Malcolm and Majer Sullivan. Sullivan, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound behemoth that head coach Doug Cornelius once referred to as an NFL tight end, helped clean the glass at both ends to finish with five points. Malcolm, the team's leading scorer, overcame a slow first half with 11 in the second to finish with 13 points.

"Man, that guy is incredible," Lewis-Cooper said of Malcolm. "He can jump out of the gym. Having him on our team is a big help."

Sophomore Cam Niles added 11 as the team's low-post threat most of the night. Caden Flowers, another sophomore who alternates with Lewis-Cooper running the point most games, dropped in a couple from the mid-range in the final stanza to add seven for Yuba College.

Up next in the postseason is a San Jose City team that Yuba hasn't faced since 2022 when it fell on the road, .San Jose will be at home again and will look to hold serve against a team trying to secure its first state Elite Eight appearance since 2018.

"This year we are really going to go get it," Lewis-Cooper said.

The CCCAA state Elite Eight begins March 15 at Mt. San Antonio College. When available tickets for Saturday's NorCal round three contest in San Jose are available at