LOS ANGELES, CA — East Los Angeles College won 76-57 at crosstown city rival Los Angeles Trade Tech College and earned its second South Coast Conference North Division men’s basketball championship in three years.
ELAC (24-3, 7-1) defeated El Camino-Compton Center (14-12, 4-4) 102-93 on Wednesday. The two wins enabled the Huskies to tie for the SCC North Division crown while also tying its 42-year school record for most wins in a season.
“I am excited for our guys,” said ELAC Head Coach John Mosley. “In winning the (title), they accomplished what they were committed to do and stayed consistent to do so.”
A vocal crowd is expected when rivals ELAC and Trade Tech meet, but an easy win is not. “Trade Tech plays organized chaos, which most teams are not used to, We had a decent feel about them this time,” said Mosley.
No. 1 Saddleback College got by Trade Tech earlier in the season 62-57 and ELAC defeated the Beavers 81-73 in the first round of conference play.
In tonight’s game, ELAC built a 37-25 halftime lead. Ten Huskies scored in the first half including sophomore guard Iziahiah Sweeny (Compton High School) who scored eight of his team-high 18 points.
The Huskies led 45-31 with 15:48 remaining in the game after Sweeny hit a jump shot. Trade Tech followed with a 10-2 run, capped-off from guard Lawrence Carter’s three-point play with 11:50 left in the game.
ELAC responded with a rally that put the game out of reach, which included 10 points from sophomore forward Richard Bivens (Bakersfield Ridgeview HS) that included two 3-point shots and a dunk.
Bivens finished with 15 points including two dunks that sparked the ELAC fans. ELAC sophomore forward Arinze Anakwenze (John Muir HS) came off the bench and scored eight points including a dunk.
Freshman guard Chandler Redix (Cathedral HS) scored 13 points for the Huskies.
Against Compton, ELAC sophomore guard Jarrell Tate (Birmingham, Alabama Wenonah HS) made a 3-point jump shot with 14:05 left in the first half for the game’s final lead change.
The Huskies had a two-point 16-14 lead, one they would not relinquish because ELAC handled the Compton press. “It’s something we expected and prepared for,” said Bivens.
ELAC built double-digit leads for several minutes during both halves that included a 70-59 lead with 12:45 left in the game when ELAC freshman forward Jalen Gilmore (Washington Prep HS) connected on a 3-point jump shot.
Compton followed with an 18-9 run that brought them within two, down 79-77 when freshman guard Alonzo Taylor made a layup with 7:06 remaining in the game. ELAC then outran Compton for the nine-point win.
Redix scored the 100th point for the Huskies during the last minute and ELAC scored the 3-digit mark for the second time this season and the fourth time in two years.
Redix was one of four Huskies that scored in doubles figures. He scored 17 points and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. Sweeny led the Huskies with 19 points, Tate scored 14 and Bivens had the games only double double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Huskies had five blocked shots that drew crowd-rousing noise.
Sophomore forward Marquise Harris (L.A. Jordan HS) led Compton with 26 points scored.
The Huskies await playoff seeding and Southern California Regional Bracket pairings. “We have worked on returning to the state championship game,” said sophomore forward Dashawn Hill (Compton HS).
ELAC has a Round-1 bye and hosts a Round-2 game either Friday or Saturday. Rounds 3 & 4 are TBA. The state finals are on March 12-13 at Las Positas College in Livermore, California.
“We have a one-game season and concentrate on what’s in front of us,” said Mosley.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia