By Tadzio Garcia
The East Los Angeles men’s basketball team began the John Mosley era with a 85-60 win over Cuyamaca College last Friday, Nov. 9 in the opening round of the Clash at College of the Canyons.
The celebration was short lived as the Huskies dropped a 69-60 decision to the host Canyons the next day.
Mosley, new head coach of the team, returns to his alma mater. He played on the 1991-93 Husky basketball teams helping lead ELAC to two playoff berths. He led the state in assists both seasons.
When asked if the Huskies will advance to the playoffs forward Michael Foster said, “We focus by taking it one game at a time.”
The key in the victory over Cuyamaca was six Huskies coming off the bench scoring 27 points and hustling for 15 rebounds.
“We are deep. We clicked against Cuyamaca in our first game after hard training all semester but we have a ways to go. We will click more with each game,” point guard Chris Brown said. Brown scored a team high 21 points.
Coming off the bench was Foster who scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds followed by Zach Hinton with six points and five rebounds.
Robert Ponce added four points, two rebounds while Frankie Aguilar added three points with four rebounds. Brendan Otero closed out the bench scoring with three points.
In the championship game against Canyons, the Huskies rallied back from 61-55 deficit with 1:33 remaining to pull within one point, 61-60, off of a three point swish by Aaron Cheatum at 1:03 brining the Husky faithful to its feet.
Husky mistakes on defense combined with solid play by Canyons resulted in a scoreless final 63 seconds for ELAC. Canyons out-rebounded the Huskies down the stretch while connecting on a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.
ELAC was 4-of-8 from the free throw line, while Canyons was 29 of 38. “Anytime a team has 30 more (at the line), well you have to weather that storm and make sure you at least secure the rebounds,” Mosley said.
Mosley played collegiate ball at The Master’s College followed by a stint playing professional basketball in Australia. After coaching at Inglewood Christian he returned to The Master’s as an assistant coach.
Mosley was also an assistant coach at CSU Bakersfield before returning to ELAC.
The Huskies found themselves on the short end of the score, 13-4, with 14:52 remaining in the first half. Canyons had four steals along with two three-point shots and a slam by Cougar guard Jaylen Bland. ELAC kept pawing at the Cougar’s lead and caught them, 30-30, with 2:10 left in the half off a basket by Dushon Carter.
Down 38-46 with 14:03 left in the game, the Huskies began their final comeback run beginning with a three-point basket from Brown at 13:51.
Brown led the Huskies in scoring with 20 points. Cheatum added 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Jaree Crawford scored 10 points while foster and Hinton had three steals each.
“We should have won this game,” Hinton said. Brown agreed adding, “We need to play with more intensity while executing play to the end. We will learn from this,” Brown said.
The Huskies host rival Rio Hondo College on Thursday in the men’s gym at 7 p.m.