By Andrew Ruiz
The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team returned home after a three-game road trip and defeated Los Angeles Harbor College, 86-74, on Jan. 28.
The Huskies, who had won three consecutive games before losing to Long Beach City College on Jan. 23, hope to continue another winning streak as they face El Camino College, whose overall record is 6-12.
Sophomore point guard Marcus Romain may have used LBCC’s Brandon Stanton’s game-winning layup with 1.4 seconds left to go in the game as motivation, because the point guard wasn’t going to let his team down, again, especially not at home.
“It feels good to bounce back (after Friday’s loss). It shows the maturity and the growth in the team,” Romain said. “I feel like me, personally, I did a better job helping my team close the game.”
And closing the game, unfortunately, was something Romain couldn’t do against the Vikings as his last-second heave hit the side of the rim.
He admitted to not having a pre-game meal, which exposed his fatigue in crunch time when he went 1-for-4 from the foul line with under a minute to go in the game.
“I felt good tonight (against Harbor), he said. “I got that meal and I was ready to go.”
The meal the Brooklyn native was talking about was the teriyaki chicken foot-long sub with Swiss cheese on honey oat bread from Subway that gave him the nutrients to lead all scorers with 21 points and shoot 70 percent from the field.
According to ELAC Head Coach John Mosley, the team was mentally and physically prepared to execute the game plan against Harbor after the loss to Long Beach.
Four other Huskies finished the game in double digits. Sophomore shooting guard Michael Cardenas had 17 (3-6, 3-pt FG), Je’Ron Primus, another sophomore guard chipped in 16 points, freshmen forward Marquis Salmon dropped 15 and freshman forward Richard Bivens had 10.
As both teams battled throughout the game, the Seahawks extended their lead in the second half to five—their largest of the game.
ELAC would respond on the defensive end as the Huskies went with their full-court pressure forcing 17 turnovers.
And when the Seahawks attempted to make a comeback and play the foul game, the Huskies made them pay as the team shot 89 percent from the charity stripe.
Offensively, Salmon attacked the Seahawks’ zone and saw holes in the defense that allowed him to be successful.
“I was just trying to be aggressive and see the angles in the game so I could get my open shots,” he said. “I thank my teammates for putting me in the right spots to score.”
Sophomore swingman Te’Shon Burton, who’s been battling a foot injury, remains sidelined for his fourth straight game but is expected to return on the court within a few weeks.
Freshmen centers Marcus Byrd and DeShawn Hill were experiencing flu-like symptoms and were given the night off, according to Mosley. Byrd and Hill are expected to be with the team for tonight’s game against El Camino.
The Huskies’ last three games have all been against South Coast Conference South Division teams, which improves their overall record to 12-9, while their conference record still remains at 2-2 in the SCC North.
ELAC will face two more SCC South teams (El Camino, Los Angeles Southwest) before continuing conference play on Feb. 6 as the Huskies hope to get revenge and give Mt. San Antonio College their first conference loss.