MONTEREY PARK, CA — The Huskies men’s basketball team defeated Cerritos College 63-58 in overtime in a CCCAA Southern California Regional playoff game and set a new record for most wins in a season.
No. 4-seed East Los Angeles College (25-3) will host No. 5-seed Mt. San Jacinto College (26-5) on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Mt. San Jacinto defeated No. 12-seed Cypress.
It did not look good for the Huskies with eight seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied at 56-all. Cerritos had the ball after a huge ELAC miss.
With the home crowd stunned, a quick play by freshman guard Chandler Redix (Cathedral HS) may have saved the season for the Huskies.
“I bounced the inbound pass off the leg of a Cerritos player and we had the ball back,” said Redix. “We just missed a shot, time was running out and we really needed a defensive play.”
A last second sophomore guard Iziahiah Sweeny (Compton High School) jump shot attempt between three Falcon players bounced off the rim and overtime ensued.
In overtime, ELAC offense played slow, defensive, well thought-out play. After each team connected on a free throw, freshman forward Jalen Gilmore (Washington Prep HS) connected the first of two free throw attempts to break the tie.
ELAC sophomore forward Arinze Anakwenze (John Muir HS) made a jump shot, assisted by Sweeny, and it was 60-57 in favor of the Huskies with 3:55 remaining.
Sweeny grabbed a defensive rebound and threw a bomb to sophomore guard Miles Ford (Alhambra HS) who was at the top of the key. Ford made an easy layup and the Huskies led, 62-57, with 1:55 left in overtime.
The Husky defense controlled the game for the win.
In the first half, Ford made a layup in the paint to break the third tie for an 8-6 Huskies lead with 15:01 remaining.
ELAC built its largest lead almost nine minutes later when sophomore forward Dashawn Hill (Compton HS) hit a layup for a 24-13 lead, with 6:25 left.
A Falcon rally brought them within two points, down 32-30 with nine seconds left in the half. Anakwenze ended the first half and scored two points with a dunk, assisted by Gilmore.
Cerritos freshman guard Brian Nebo (St. John Bosco HS) scored a game high 14 points.
Three Huskies scored in double figures, 12 each from Sweeny and sophomore forward Richard Bivens (Bakersfield Ridgeview HS) who also had nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Redix scored 11 points and was 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Jarrell Tate (Birmingham, Alabama Wenonah HS) had a team-high three assists.
The game had 11 lead changes and nine ties.
The CCCAA Southern California Regional semifinal playoff game on Wednesday will be a double header with the ELAC women’s basketball team.
The Elite 8 matchups include the No. 6-seed Lady Huskies (21-9) hosting South Coast Conference North Division rival No. 14-seed Pasadena City College (18-13) at 5 p.m., followed by the men’s game.
While both teams played Sweet 16 games last year, it is the first time that ELAC will be hosting both contests on its home court, the South Gym’s “E”rena.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia