By Tadzio Garcia
The men’s basketball team gave the state’s No. 6 ranked team, Los Angeles Southwest College, a tough game but came up on the short end of a 70-58 score.
The game at LA Southwest was marred by a seemingly serious injury of Husky Albert Chavez at 12:46 in the second half. Chavez didn’t get up from midcourt while the Cougars were scoring a basket for a 47-31 lead.
While on the floor, Chavez did not move the position of his head, arms or legs for more than 30 minutes. LA County Fire Department, Station 14, arrived on the scene and transported Chavez to an unknown hospital.
“I had whiplash. I don’t remember what happened other than hearing the (LA Southwest) trainer talking to me. My teammates did text me during the night. When one of us is down we all care,” Chavez said.
When play resumed, defense took over until Husky Deon Geary scored a 3-point basket to trim the LA Southwest’s lead to 47-34, at 10:55 left in the game. This was the beginning of a furious ELAC rally.
Geary, who led all scorers with 29 points, answered two Cougar scores with three 3-point baskets. At 8:16, ELAC turned a large Cougar lead into a close game at 51-43. Momentum was in ELAC’s favor.
“The coaches prepare the team. When we walk on the court we believe in ourselves and are ready for anybody,” Chavez said.
After two Cougar free throws at 7:44 by Shannen Garner, then one by Husky Mark Torres, Husky Rafael Morelos stole the inbounds Cougar pass and scored. It was 53-46. At 6:33, Morelos scored again. The Cougar lead was 55-50. LA Southwest shut the door on the Huskies with their own rally outscoring ELAC, 15-8, for the final score.
ELAC opened the game with a 9-3 lead followed by an offensive break. The Huskies scored at 12:18 for an 11-10 lead and not again until 4:59 with Robert Ponce’s 3-point basket. A 24-14 Cougar lead shrunk to 28-23 at the half after an energetic ELAC rally.
The Huskies are in third place in South Coast North Division play at 2-2, 10-9 overall. The Cougars (16-5, 4-0) lead the SC South Division. The Huskies host Long Beach City College tomorrow at 7 p.m.