WOODLAND HILLS, CA — The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team played four games in the last five days, which included a 72-51 victory tonight at LA Pierce College and third place in the Alvin Hunter Classic in San Bernardino on Sunday.
The No. 12 statewide-ranked Huskies, 5-1 overall, defeated a good Pierce (1-3) team, which has played two Top-Five teams to date. ELAC opened with a 14-0 run then built leads of 25-5 and 41-15. Pierce closed the first half with a 10-6 run enroute to a 47-25 ELAC lead. A slower pace dictated the second half and the Husky defense outrebounded the Brahmas for the win.
ELAC outrebounded Pierce in total 46-18, outshot them 46.7 percent to 32.7, hit 88.9 percent at the line and had four blocked shots. ELAC freshman center Solomon Hunt (Upland HS) finished with 18 points. Freshman Jacob Tryon (Great Oak HS) scored 13 points for the Huskies. Pierce sophomore point guard Jordan Newt (Malibu HS) finished with 21 points. The Huskies held Pierce 7’0” freshman center Brenton Scott (West Ranch HS) to two points.
ELAC played three ranked teams in San Bernardino, which included an 83-67 win against then No. 12-ranked Antelope Valley College for third place.
ELAC handed Riverside City College (4-2), then ranked No. 11, its first loss of the season 93-71 in the opening round of the Classic. The Huskies lost in the semifinals 94-70 to No. 1 San Bernardino Valley College.
“Overall it was a good tournament,” said ELAC Head Coach John Mosley. The eight-team tournament included six ranked teams. San Bernardino (7-0) won the championship and as a result, became the No. 1 team in the state the following day.
“It was a good weekend to be able to come out of that tournament with two wins,” said Mosley. “San Bernardino was a tough game. They were well prepared, while we were not there yet, as a team.”
ELAC sophomore guard Frank Bertz (Sultana HS) was named to the All-Tournament Team. He scored in double digits in each game and tallied a tournament total 61 points.
Against Antelope Valley, the Huskies erased a 20-11 first half deficit to pull within five at the half, 35-30. The Huskies caught the Marauders 28 seconds into the second half at 35-all from Bertz’s 3-point jump shot. Eight lead changes and 12 ties ensued.
Bertz, who scored a game-high 24 points against Antelope Valley, made a 3-point jump shot with 7:36 left in the game, which gave the Huskies a lead, 60-59, that they would not relinquish. The Huskies outscored Antelope Valley 53-32 in the second half and ended the game on a 26-8 run.
Two other Huskies scored in double figures, sophomore forward Roderick Williams (Price HS) scored 18 points and Hunt finished with 11. Hunt had a game-high three blocked shots.
Against Riverside, the Tigers opened with a hot hand and led 23-16 seven minutes into the game. After a 12-4 Husky run, ELAC took a 28-27 lead off freshman guard Isaac Etter’s (Village Christian HS) 3-point jump shot with 7:34 left in the half. The Huskies led for the remainder of the game. ELAC shot 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the field to Riverside’s 39 percent (23-of-59).
Four Huskies scored in double figures. Bertz finished with 20 points, Williams scored 16 and two Huskies scored 13 points each, Tryon and sophomore guard Robert Fuller (St. Bernard HS). The Huskies had four blocked shots, a game-high two from Tryon and one each from Williams and freshman guard Mark Boland (Birmingham HS).
In the loss to host San Bernardino, Williams led all scorers with 22 while five Wolverines scored in double digits. San Bernardino controlled the boards and outshot ELAC 57.1 percent to 39.8, which included more assists 20-9. The Wolverines brought down more rebounds, 36-24.
“Even though they struggled (ELAC), they’re talented,” said Mosley. “We expect to bounce back to another tough tournament at Citrus College.”
The Huskies play in the round-robin Citrus Invitational Tourney beginning with a game against No. 6 Fullerton College (5-2) on Friday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
The Huskies meet No. 8 Citrus College (7-2) on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. and they play Southwestern College (2-6) on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.
Citrus College is located at 1000 W. Foothill Blvd. in Glendora, CA 91741.
With little break, the Huskies continue play four days later in the Riverside City College Holiday Classic. ELAC opens play with a game versus Mt. San Jacinto College (3-6) on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. A win gives the Huskies another showdown with either San Bernardino or Fullerton.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index and ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia