By Diego Linares
East Los Angeles College’s basketball team came up short Friday night in a 80-74 loss against an El Camino Compton Center squad they had defeated earlier in the season. Sophomore center Jaree Crawford quietly scored 20 points, with most of them coming on putbacks.
ELAC had its struggles on both ends of the court. Tartars Head Coach, Keith Higgins, had his team ready to face the length of the Huskies with a fullcourt press defensive scheme that disrupted the offense and changed the pace of the game.Husky guards seemed to struggle to find their rhythm against the Tartars full court press.
When asked about the turnovers in the first half Husky Head Coach John Mosley said, “We just didn’t do a good job of executing, and doing what we needed to do to secure the ball. We just need to readjust and make sure when we’re in that situation again we move the ball and share the ball to be successful.”
ELAC’s turnovers resulted in easy fast break points for the Tartars. Once a turnover was committed the Tartars would sprint down on offense attacking the basket, resulting on drawing fouls or uncontested lay-ups.
The Tartars constant drive to the basket was due to the early foul troubles of forwards Brendon Otero and Michael Foster. With two of their leading players on the bench Crawford and Cheatnum kept the Huskies close.
Forward Christopher Miller lead the Tartars with 30 points scoring from various spots on the court. Miller connected with three point field goals coming off screens. He created from the elbow and from the post easily scoring on the Huskie defender. Miller’s shot selection proved to be a problem, but his effort weren’t enough.
Coach Mosley was also asked about switching to a zone defense in order to slow down the game, which he responded by saying, “No, we try to play man-to-man the whole time, and guard, and it broke down today. That’s been our success all year, is guarding man-to-man strong, and it broke down today. Something we need to make sure we fix.”
When asked what he preached to his team, Tartars head coach Mr. Higgins said, “Pressure, yeah pressure, they have 22 (Crawford) and 20 (Cheatnum) they are very good basketball players. So we have to double team them every time they get the ball.” He also added that last time they had lost by five at ELAC, but that being at home he knew that it will be their game to win.
With the coaches making adjustments throughout the game both teams struggled offensively and defensively. Mental lapses constantly occured in the defensive side of the ball for both teams. Players were constantly beaten off the dribble and were out of position defensively.
The game was won in the paint with most of the scoring coming on lay-ups and offensive putbacks. The lack of composure was evident when they went away from what has worked all season. The fullcourt press prevented the ball from going inside to Crawford and Foster in the post.
ELAC’s basketball team will look to bounce back next week when they face a LA Trade Tech. The game will be Friday, February 13, and will be held at Laural Gymnasium on the LATTC campus.