SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team opened the season for the fourth straight year with a win. The Huskies defeated host College of the Canyons 88-74.
The Huskies are a preseason contender for the state title as the No. 2-ranked team in the state and No. 1 in Southern California (California Community College Basketball Association polls).
The Huskies, who led from start to finish, opened the game on a 21-5 run capped off with two free throws from sophomore guard Deshaun Highler (JW North High School), a transfer from the University of Texas at El Paso, enroute to a 49-34 lead at the half. ELAC sophomore forward Solomon Hunt (Upland HS), a second-team all-conference selection last season, led both teams in the first half with 7 points, 4 rebounds and the only blocked shot in the first 20 minutes.
Aided by five ELAC turnovers in the first six minutes of the second half, Canyons came back to pull within seven, down 61-54 with 14:00 minutes left in the game. ELAC freshman guard Levelle Zeigler (Ridgeview HS) made a 3-point jump shot with 11:42 remaining. ELAC had a double-digit lead 66-55 and never looked back.
John Mosley, ELAC head basketball coach, rotated the entire team from start to finish with an average playing time of 18 minutes per man. The Huskies are deep and didn’t have everyone on the team suited up tonight.
Zeigler came off the bench and led the Huskies attack with a game-high 17 points. Highler scored 14 points and Hunt pumped in 11. The Huskies outrebounded Canyons 41-21 led by 6-foot-9-inch freshman center Malik Muhammad (Narbonne HS) with eight in the game. The Huskies, however, had 22 turnovers.
“Glad to finally start playing. We have a lot to work on, but glad we got the win,” said Mosley. “Turnovers will be something we hope to fix by Saturday. Lots of bright spots to work with.”
ELAC meets Glendale Community College in the tournament’s championship game, Saturday at 2 p.m. Glendale was a first round 88-76 winner over Oxnard College.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index and ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia