College of the Sequoias' will be out to bolster its case for a top-four seed -- and home-court advantage -- in the Northern California Regional men's basketball playoffs when it travels to Columbia on Feb. 15.
The Giants (20-5, 9-2) are ranked No. 9 in the state by the California Community College Men's Basketball Coaches' Association heading into a 6 p.m. Central Valley Conference game against the No. 13 Claim Jumpers (22-3, 8-3).
More importantly, COS is ranked No. 4 among teams from NorCal, just ahead of No. 5 Santa Rosa (19-7) and No. 6 Columbia. The top four seeds receive home games until the state Elite Eight tournament, which is set for March 13-15 at West Hills-Lemoore.
The Giants beat Columbia 82-76 at Porter Field House on Jan. 22 during the first half of CVC play.
COS has won eight of its past nine games, including an 81-67 defeat of Reedley on Feb. 12.
Tiveon Stroud (Selma High) led the way with 20 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Stroud made 9 of his 112 shots to help the Giants shoot 55.4 percent (31 of 56) from the field overall.
Ryan Johnson (Hanford) also had a double-double for COS, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
The Giants also received 14 points and five rebounds from Savion Johnson (Hanford West); 10 points, three assists and three blocks from Amil Fields (Hayward); eight points and five assists from Milton Burnett (Bullard); seven points and five assists from Tiyon Martin (Pasadena); and four points and 10 rebounds from Elihu Cobb (Santa Maria).
After playing at Columbia, COS wraps up the regular season with two home games: Feb. 19 against Porterville (13-12, 6-5) and Feb. 21 against West Hills-Lemoore (4-21, 2-9). Tip-off for both is set for 7 p.m. at Porter Field House.