But despite sweeping through the Coast Conference North Division unblemished at 12-0, and ranked No. 5 in the final regular-season state rankings, the Rams were only selected into the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the NorCal region.
Assuming CCSF can get by No. 12-seed Contra Costa College on Saturday at home, and barring no upsets in the first round, the Rams’ journey to capture the first women’s basketball title in school history will come on the road.
“We’ve talked about the upcoming road, and we just said one game at a time,” said co-head coach Jamie Hayes, who also is CCSF’s women’s athletic director. “In the [nonconference] season, all of our games were on the road and I thought we did really well. I don’t think the girls really care where they play, as long as they’re still in the [playoffs].”
With five sophomores on a team with only eight players, CCSF will rely on sophomore guard Tatsiana Dashkevich, who was just named Most Valuable Player in the Coast Conference North, as well first-team all state. While Dashkevich averages 12.6 points a game on 45 percent shooting, she’s aided by second-team all-state member Franeka Hall.
Hall, a graduate of The City’s Jordan High School, is averaging a double-double this season with 13.5 points and 10.9 rebounds a game. Overall, six players average at least eight points a game for the Rams.
“We’ll lean on all five of our sophomores,” co-head coach Derek Lau said. “They’ve been here before and they know what to expect.”
Foul trouble could be a factor for the thin CCSF roster, but it’s something Hayes and Lau have discussed during preparation for the playoffs. They’ll be banking on experience as the Rams try to get back to the Final Four, which would be their first since 2010.
“We have a lot of maturity, a lot of experience being so sophomore heavy,” Hayes said. “We talked about last year and how made the Elite Eight, and came up short by two points to Santa Rosa. They remember that feeling and that’s what’s motivated them this season.”