SAN BERNARDINO, CA — The state’s No. 8-ranked East Los Angeles College Huskies (4-1) lost 91-88 to host San Bernardino Valley College (6-0) in the championship game of the Sixth Annual Alvin Hunter Classic Tournament at Joseph W. Snyder Gymnasium.
The Huskies took second place as a result. ELAC defeated Grossmont College (3-3) 75-65 in the semifinals and beat Barstow College (3-3) 101-85 in the first round.
Sophomore guard Chandler Redix (Cathedral High School) received an All-Tournament Team nod. He scored 50 tournament points, had 12 rebounds, 13 assists, six steals and a blocked shot.
Freshman Roderick Williams (Price HS) tournament totals included 55 points, 31 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals. Williams’ tournament totals included two double doubles. He scored 18 points/had 12 rebounds in the Grossmont win and scored 17 points/had 10 rebounds in the Barstow win.
There were seven lead changes and five ties in the first half of the title game. San Bernardino had its largest lead of the half, 14-7, with 16:49 remaining. ELAC regained the lead 15-14 off a sophomore guard Zeno Lake (Compton HS) dunk at the 12:43 mark.
Freshman guard Frank Bertz (Sultana HS) scored two Husky free throws four minutes later to break the fifth tie, which gave the Huskies a 25-23 lead, a lead they would keep through the end of the half. ELAC led 50-42 at the break. ELAC had leads of nine points three times.
Sophomore forward Chima Wami (Corona Santiago HS) scored two from the charity stripe with 11:21 left in the game and ELAC kept its eight-point lead.
The eighth tie came at 1:01 left in the game after Redix made a layup that knotted the score at 83-all. The Wolverines followed with an 8-5 run and a 91-88 lead with four seconds left. ELAC missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer. The Wolverines outscored the Huskies 10-5 on fast break points.
Against Grossmont, the Griffins jumped to a 5-1 lead. Sophomore forward Javier Harris (Temecula HS) made a jump shot for the Huskies to break a 10-all tie with 11:33 remaining in the half, a lead the Huskies kept through the first half.
ELAC freshman guard Deangelo Stowers (Bakersfield / Ridgeview HS) made a lay-up that gave the Huskies their largest first-half lead, 32-17, with 4:28 left in the half, assisted by Williams. ELAC led 41-29 at the break.
In the second half, the Griffins rallied to pull within one point, four times, but each time the Huskies pulled away. Grossmont outscored the Huskies 36-34 in the second half.
Against Barstow, the Vikings came into the game 3-1 overall and played ELAC to six ties in a game that had 17 lead changes. With 9:09 remaining in the game, it was still anyone’s ball game with ELAC leading 67-65.
ELAC then went on a 12-2 run that included a Bertz 3-point jump shot. The Huskies had double-digit leads for the remainder of the game.
Sophomore guard Sequan Walker (Long Beach Cabrillo HS) scored 29 tournament points and had six assists. Bertz scored 28 tournament points, had five assists and three steals. Harris scored 17 tournament points and had 11 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Jesus Zesati (St. John Bosco HS) scored 19 tournament points and had seven assists. Sophomore guard Zeno Lake (Compton HS) scored 35 tournament points. Wami scored 33 tournament points.
The Huskies host Los Angeles Pierce College (0-1) in their home opener on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 6 p.m.
ELAC then plays in the 12-team double elimination Riverside Holiday Tournament Tuesday Dec. 6 through Friday, Dec. 9. The tournament is one of the toughest in the state. It drew 10 ranked teams. A possible second round match for ELAC is No. 2 Saddleback College.
Saddleback ousted ELAC from the playoffs last season in the quarterfinals and defeated the Huskies in the CCCAA state title game 50-47 two seasons ago. The Huskies are ready for the round three of the series.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia