ELAC Men’s Basketball Team Eyes Another Conference Championship

East Los Angeles College forward Solomon Hunt puts up a shot in the Huskie’s victory over Pasadena. Photo by Mario Villegas
East Los Angeles College forward Solomon Hunt puts up a shot in the Huskie’s victory over Pasadena. Photo by Mario Villegas

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — East Los Angeles College will attempt to win its fourth consecutive South Coast Conference North Division men’s basketball championship with victories against Rio Hondo and L.A. Trade Tech at home in the final week of the regular season.

The Huskies are 22-4 and 7-1 in conference and are ranked fourth by the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Association as they take the court for today’s 5 p.m. game with Rio Hondo (4-22, 1-7). They can clinch a tie for the title by defeating Rio and win it outright by beating Trade Tech Friday.

ELAC, which is 7-0 at home, plays Trade Tech (17-8, 3-5) at 5 p.m. Friday to conclude the regular season.

The Huskies have won 15 of their last 16 games and they closed in on another conference title with victories over Mt. San Antonio and Pasadena last week.

ELAC defeated Mt. SAC, 87-61 last Friday in Walnut behind sharp-shooting guard Alec Hickman’s 14 points. The sophomore from JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano made six of eight shots, including two of three from beyond the 3-point arc. He was also credited with three assists, a steal and a blocked shot.

Guard Deshaun Highler (Riverside J.W. North HS) and center Malik Muhammad (Harbor City Narbonne HS) scored 12 points each to also lead the way for East L.A., which built a 41-23 halftime lead and never looked back. Highler added three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Muhammad, who came off the bench and played only 14 minutes, had five rebounds.

Levelle Zeigler (Oakland Ridgeview HS) also didn’t start, but scored 10 points and had five assists. Guard Darius Henderson (Woodland Hills Taft HS) scored eight points and brought down eight rebounds. He also dished off five assists.

Forward Solomon Hunt (Upland HS) scored seven points and led all players in rebounding with 13. He had four assists and three blocked shots.

In the Huskies’ victory over visiting Pasadena, Hickman scored a team-high 15 points and had eight rebounds to lead the way. Highler added 14 points.

Babacar Thiombane (Fairfax HS) also had a big night for the Huskies. The sophomore forward scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, passed for five assists and blocked three shots.

Hunt scored eight points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots. Zeigler scored seven points and had five assists and four steals.

story submitted by Mario Villegas