MONTEREY PARK, CA — Chaffey College was on the upset watch entering the South Coast Conference North Division contest and regular season finale at East Los Angeles College.
ELAC won the SCC North title last Friday, but was in a fight for a Top-Four seed in the playoffs CCCAA Southern California Regional Bracket. Chaffey was on the bubble for a playoff bid and a win over the Huskies was their only shot.
The Huskies ended Chaffey’s season, 86-45, in front of the largest home crowd of the season.
As the big crowd was settling in, ELAC opened with a 10-0 run. Sophomore guard Frank Bertz (Sultana High School) opened and closed the run with two treys, the latter a swish, and sophomore forward Roderick Williams (Price HS) scored the other four points.
The Huskies flight in motion increased the lead to 30-15 from a three-point jump shot by freshman guard Darius Henderson (Taft HS) with 8:15 left in the half. ELAC increased its lead to 41-15 off Bertz’s sixth three-pointer with 4:26 remaining in the half.
A Chaffey technical let to Williams swishing two free throws at 1:09. Williams connected on four more free throws and ELAC led at the half 51-18. Bertz led the first half Husky scoring brigade with 17 points. Williams scored 12 points and was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe.
In the second half, Chaffey opened with an 8-2 run. ELAC followed with a 13-2 run that ended with a play that had the home crowd roaring. Freshman forward Jacob Tryon (Great Oak HS) blocked his second shot and Williams zipped across the court and scored a layup. ELAC led 66-28 at 14:02.
Four minutes later, sophomore center Colin Bell (Santa Monica / Campbell Hall High Schools) blocked a shot and scored on the other end when he twisted a quick move after a fake. ELAC led 70-31. The final 9 1/2 minutes included seven points from sophomore guard Jamier Cross (Philadelphia, PA / Charles Carroll HS).
Williams and Bertz led all scorers with 20 points apiece. Williams made it a double double with 10 rebounds. Bertz hit seven three-point jump shots. Hunt also had a double double with 10 points scored and 10 rebounds. Chaffey sophomore forward Darrion Willies (Summit) scored a team-high 10 points while teammate sophomore center Bosten Van Der Veer scored nine points.
With 6-year ELAC head coach John Mosley at the helm, the Huskies won their fourth conference championship in five years.
Final 2017-18 SCC North standings: 1. ELAC (24-5, 9-1), 2. Mt. SAC (14-13, 7-3), 3. Chaffey (18-11, 6-4), 4. Rio Hondo (7-18, 4-6), 5. (Tie) Pasadena City (10-17, 2-8) and LA Trade Tech (7-17, 2-8).
The Huskies outscored their conference opponents by an average of 88.5 to 59.1 points per game. More importantly, ELAC improved in the second half of conference play by 60 points on defense.
San Diego City College (29-2) seems to have a lock on the CCCAA Southern California Regional Bracket’s No. 1 seed. San Bernardino Valley College (29-4) will probably get the No. 2 seed. Citrus College (26-4) is most likely headed for a No. 3 seed. The No. 4 seed contenders are probably ELAC along with Cerritos and Orange Coast colleges, all champions of their respective conferences.
ELAC’s 41-point win against a good Chaffey team who seemed a shoe-in for the playoffs last week, makes a strong case for the Huskies. Cerritos (24-5) lost 75-69 to unranked Long Beach College tonight and Orange Coast (20-7) hasn’t played as tough a schedule as ELAC.
The playoff brackets, the Northern and Southern Regionals, will be announced on Monday. Four teams from each Bracket advance to the Men’s State Championships Bracket.
Follow up for the Bracket results at ELAC Athletics a (http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index) or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia