Raoul Harley Drains Game Winner to Power Vikings Past First Round of Playoffs


Raoul Harley scoring the game-winning shot (Photo courtesy of Diablo Valley College).

Marlo Miguel Guevarra, Staff member

The DVC Men’s Basketball team secured their first win of the playoffs in dramatic fashion Wednesday night at Chabot College. First Team All Conference forward Raoul Harley hit an impossible shot at the rim to win the game 74-72.  

“Coach drew up a play for Raoul to cut to get the ball and look for the back door but he lost the ball, regained his balance and made an amazing shot to win the game,” said Vikings’ star forward Isaih Hood illustrating the final possession. 

As thrilling as this game was, the Vikings had set themselves up against unfavorable odds for the coming playoffs.

“I thought we finished the regular season off in the worst way possible by losing our last two games,” said Head Coach Steve Coccimiglo. 

In the past week, DVC went from potentially capturing the first seed of the conference to finishing fourth, which stripped them of home court advantage for the playoffs. 

The team needed to flip the switch for Wednesday night’s game against the Chabot Gladiators, but had little success to begin the match. 

Early on, the Vikings played the game passively on offense, giving up open shots and reluctantly getting to the basket with Chabot’s intimidating size in the paint. 

On the other end of the court, Chabot was shooting lights out, hitting eight three-pointers in the first 20 minutes as the Vikings had trouble defending the perimeter. 

DVC headed to the locker room down 35-27 at halftime.

In the second half, the Vikings stepped back onto the court with more of a determination in their play. They rotated better on defense, got to the loose ball quicker, and drove to the basket hard, attacking the Chabot bigs.

“Heart over height every time,” said Vikings starting guard Darius Jackson about how the team deals with bigger opponents.

Winding down to the final minutes of the game, the Vikings were still down 72-67 at the two minute mark. Chabot’s sharpshooting at the three-point line combined with their scoring in the post held the Vikings at bay every time they came close. 

After a timeout called by coach Coccimiglo, DVC came out firing with their two best scorers, Mitchell Smith and Isaih Hood, leading the comeback.

Smith hit a quick three and Hood, in the next possession, finished strong at the rim to tie the game at 72 a piece. 

With 18 seconds remaining, the Vikings found a way to stop Chabot from taking the lead and got the ball back for the last shot of the game. 

“We stuck together as a team and we knew if we kept our trust and our faith, we could get it done,” said Jackson following the electrifying win. 

The team will travel to Fresno on Friday to face the 25-3 Rams in the second round of playoffs. 

“We’ve just got to keep the same energy, watch a lot of film, and get well prepared for the game on Saturday,” said Jackson.