By William Hernandez
The men’s basketball team took on the states No. 6-ranked team, Mt. San Antonio College last Friday and lost a tough battle to the Mounties, who are undefeated in South Coast Conference play.
East Los Angeles College came into the game hoping to end the Mounties conference Marti Gras and sneak their way into the playoffs. Mt. SAC jumped to a five-point lead after trailing 36-35 at the half.
The Huskies looked as if they gave everything they had in the first half, coming out in the second half completely flat footed and outmatched. To make matters worse, the Huskies were shooting themselves in the foot with careless turnovers.
Tension began to rise on the court when Huskies sophomore center Mark Torres gave a greeting to Mounties Center Darnell Martin with a soft headbutt and an exchange of words. The Huskies trailed the Mounties 57-60 at 10:46 left in the game.
The Huskies had a lot of ground to make up trailing 59-70 at 8:47. As time went by, the Huskies couldn’t buy a bucket. Mt. SAC slowly started taking advantage of the Husky turnovers, which had now reached double digits in the turnover category.
At 3:04, the Huskies trailed 76-66, then were outscored 8-2 as Huskies’ supporters were heading for the exits. The final score was ELAC 68, Mt. SAC 84. With the win, Mt. SAC wrapped up the SCC championship.
In the first half, Mt. SAC got off to a fast start knocking down consecutive three pointers. At 14:42, the Mounties jumped to a 14-7 lead. The Huskies on the other hand, got off to a sluggish start not taking care of the ball and giving away offensive possessions.
In the early part of the game, both teams were playing very physical. Mt. SAC was out rebounding the Huskies. At 10:08, the Huskies were down by eight, 13-21, but after a timeout they started to play a lot sharper and collectively as a unit.
ELAC got two big three pointers by sophomore point-guard Gabriel Gamboa, which shifted momentum to their side.
The Huskies got a huge boost from center Mark Torres who played great defense inside the paint, controlled the glass, and had six points. After coming out sprinting, the Mounties were completely gassed and the Huskies had them on their heels.
The Huskies took the lead for the first time in the game at 4:46, on a basket by Zach Ward. Captain Deon Geary led the team with 17 first half points. The Huskies had a chance to climb to a double-digit lead but couldn’t because of fouls.
ELAC will play at Pasadena City College tonight at 7 p.m. in a showdown for a probable playoff berth. According to the California Community College Athletic Association website, both teams are listed as on the bubble for a post season bid.
The Huskies must also beat El Camino College Compton Center at home on Friday at 7 p.m. for playoff consideration.