By Tadzio Garcia
The Huskies lost two nail biters after opening South Coast Conference play in dominating fashion with three victories by an average of 24 points each game. As a result, the Huskies are locked in third place one game ahead of Pasadena City, Long Beach City and El Camino colleges.
East Los Angeles College hosts PCC in a showdown to stay in the hunt for a playoff playoff berth. Game time is Friday at 5 p.m.
The Huskies lost yesterday to Mt. San Antonio College, the states No. 2 ranked team. The Huskies lost its bid to create a three-way tie for first place when their comeback fell short. After a seesaw battle, Mt. SAC built a 44-31 lead with 15:14 remaining in the game. The Huskies hustled on offense and chipped away at Mt. SAC’s lead. At 3:24, an ELAC basket trimmed the Mt. SAC lead to 60-56. The green and white side had erupted. The Huskies shooting then turned cold.
The Mounties stormed to a 67-56 lead with 1:24 remaining. The Huskies couldn’t recover. Mt. SAC won 74-64.
“We should have won this game. We were trying difficult things we normally don’t do, like long passes instead of simple passes. We did, however, play a good defensive game and are ready mentally for them when the come to our house,” said sophomore Vivian Torres.
The game opened with a basket by sophomore Jamie Robinson. Mt. SAC built leads of 15-8 and 21-14 followed by an ELAC comeback. Keyanna Johnson stole the ball and ran down the court to score a layup that gave the Huskies their second lead, 24-23, with 3:05 left in the first half. Down 29-27 at the half, the Huskies took the momentum going into the locker room after quieting the Mt. SAC crowd.
Johnson ended with a team-high 25 points also scoring the lone Husky three-pointer. Johnson is the fourth highest scorer in the SCC with an average of 16.2 points per game. Other top scorers at Mt. SAC were Robinson with 12 points and sophomore Antineisha Hill with 10 points. Robinson and Francis Ordonez lead in team rebounds with seven each, followed by Johnson with six, and, Hill along with sophomore Laroyla Sargent with five each.
The Huskies opened SCC play with victories over L.A. Southwest (82-54) and at LBCC (66-54) in December followed with a blowout of L.A. Trade Tech, 73-37, in early January. The showdown with Cerritos last week ended in a 73-71 overtime loss. ELAC overall played a good offensive game in this backstreet rivalry.
The Huskies came out blazing in the second half to dominate play turning a close game into a 10-point lead, 67-57, with 9:17 left in the game. ELAC mistakes and poor officiating kept Cerritos in the game. “We played five against eight (includes three referees) but we’re going to lock ‘em down for sure when they come to ELAC,” said sophomore Ordonez.
Leading 69-66 with 2.8 seconds left in regulation, the Huskies couldn’t execute an in-bound pass. The lengthy throw landed in the hands of a Falcon player who clocked in a half-court shot as time expired.
Overtime was a defensive struggle on the part of both teams. With the crowd of 75 on their feet, ELAC fell just short of sending the game into double-overtime.
After the Cerritos loss, ELAC kept its No. 6 ranking in the California Community College Athletics Association Women’s Basketball Coaches state poll.
The SCC is the toughest conference in the state according to the state poll. Mt. SAC (18-2) is ranked No. 2 with its only losses coming at the hands of topped ranked Ventura College (20-1). Cerritos (16-4) jumped from 12th place to the No. 5 spot as a result of its victory over ELAC (14-4). LBCC (12-4) is ranked in the 14th spot.
In December, ELAC earned wins over top-20 teams. The Huskies beat No. 13 Santa Rosa, 60-59, in overtime in the opening of the San Francisco City Tournament; No. 18 LA Valley (63-48); No. 19 Sierra College (67-59), and, No. 14 LBCC.