LIVERMORE, CA — East Los Angeles College’s third upset attempt in the playoffs fell short in a 90-76 loss to Feather River College in a quarterfinal round of the CCCAA Men’s Basketball Championships at Las Positas College.
For the second consecutive year, the Huskies ended their season in the Elite Eight round of the playoffs.
ELAC (23-7), the No. 3-seeded Southern California team in the Championship Bracket, was down 49-40 at the break in a half that had 16 lead changes and five ties.
Only one other team scored more points in a half against ELAC this season. Mt. San Jacinto College scored 52 in an ELAC 87-85 win on January 7.
The Huskies bounced back with a 10-5 run to open the second half and was down 54-50 with 15:19 left in the game after a freshman forward Roderick Williams (Price HS) layup, assisted by sophomore guard Chandler Redix (Cathedral HS).
Feather River (26-3), the No. 2-seeded team from Northern California, answered with an 11-1 run and led 61-51 at the 13:06 mark.
Down 71-60 with 10:01 left, ELAC ran off a 13-8 run with 10-consecutive muscled points from Redix. ELAC was down 79-73 with 4:44 remaining. Feather River closed the game with an 15-7 run for the win.
Three Huskies scored in double figures. The University of Texas at El Paso-bound Williams scored a team-high 20 points. Sophomore forward Chima Wami (Corona Santiago HS) came off the bench and scored 15 points, 10 in the second half. Redix scored 10, all in the second half.
The shots didn’t drop for the Huskies. They shot 34.8 percent, far less than the 50+ percent they averaged most of the year, which was the best in the state for most of the season.
Feather River shot 58.3 percent and had five players that scored in double figures, which included a game-high 22 points from forward Anthony Smith.
ELAC had more blocked shots, 4-2, which delighted the crowd—two from Wami and one each from sophomore guard Zeno Lake (Compton HS) and freshman guard Frank Bertz (Sultana HS).
Williams and Bertz each had a team-high three assists for ELAC. Sophomore guard Sequan Walker (Long Beach Cabrillo HS) had a team-high three steals for the Huskies.
Six sophomores played in two Elite Eight games for the Huskies, guard Jalen Gilmore (Washington Prep HS), Lake, Redix, Walker, Wami and guard Jesus Zesati (St. John Bosco HS).
ELAC, the Co-Champions of the South Coast Conference North Division, had two upset wins in the playoffs to reach the Elite Eight.
The Huskies won 79-77 at Mt. San Jacinto College from Lake’s put back with two seconds left. ELAC took an 83-80 dramatic win at ECC Compton Center in the Sweet 16 with the Husky fans drowning out the Compton crowd, which is one of the most vocal in the state.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia