By Andrew Ruiz
For the first time in East Los Angeles College history, the men’s basketball team has made it to the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs.
A 92-73 win against Long Beach City College in the fourth round of the CCCAA Southern Regional playoffs on March 7. The Huskies will face Merritt College of the Northern Regional in the State Championships Friday March 13 at 5 p.m. at Cerritos College.
Despite jumping out to an early 11-2 start, the Vikings lost momentum and lead in the second half after going scoreless for four minutes as the Huskies went on a 7-0 run.
“(We) couldn’t score,” Vikings Head Coach Barry Barnes said. “You have to be able to score against this team. This team put up big numbers the first two playoff games. We couldn’t guard them, they scored and we couldn’t score. It’s about that, so the object of the game is so simple: you have to defend someone and you got to get stops and we didn’t do any of them well.”
Sophomore guard Brandon Stanton (29 points, 10 rebounds), sophomore guard Elijah Gaines (12 points) and freshman guard Michael Shivers (13 points) were the only Vikings who finished in double digits. Freshman guard Chris Spencer struggled throughout the game as he shot four of 11 from the field. He scored eight of his nine points in the first half.
According to sophomore guard Marcus Romain, the focus is to continue to take it one game at a time during the Huskies’ quest for a state championship.
“(It) feels good to be the first team in school history to make some accomplishments,” Roman said. “We want to stay humble and continue to move forward.”