SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team won the Clash at the Canyons for the fifth straight year with a 104-69 win against Glendale Community College at the Cougar Cage.
The three-time defending South Coast North Conference champions (24-6 last year) are No. 2-ranked in the state and No. 1 in Southern California (CCCMBA Preseason Polls) for the first time in ELAC’s 73-year history. The Huskies defeated host College of the Canyons 88-74 in the opening round.
Two Huskies were named to the All-Tournament team. Sophomore forward Solomon Hunt (Upland High School) for his all-around play and sophomore guard Darius Henderson (Taft HS). Hunt was named the MVP with 20 tournament points, 17 rebounds with 11 off the offensive glass, four assists and two crowd pleasing blocked shots. Henderson scored 22 tourney points.
In the Championship game against Glendale, ELAC jumped out to a 14-4 run 0:36 seconds into the game. Glendale kept pace with ELAC, down 29-20, midway through the first half. ELAC led 48-32 at halftime. The Huskies scored the first eleven points of the second half and had their largest lead of the game, 79-41 on a layup from sophomore forward Babacar Thiombane (Fairfax HS) assisted by freshman guard Levelle Zeigler (Ridgeview HS) with 7:33 left in the game.
The Huskies passed the 100 mark on a three-point shot from freshman guard Jason Cardenas (Arcadia HS) with 0:56 seconds remaining in the game. It is the fifth time the Huskies hit the century mark in less than a year.
John Mosley, ELAC head basketball coach, played the entire team for the second straight night. “We are finding our starters but play everyone because they’re a talented (group) of guys,” said Mosley. “We have depth and that’s a good problem to start with.”
ELAC outrebounded Glendale 58-18. Henderson had a game-high 11 rebounds with six from the offensive boards. ELAC totaled five blocked shots and five Huskies scored in double figures.
Thiombane came off the bench and scored a team-high 15 points and had 7 rebounds. Henderson added 13 points and 8 rebounds while Malik Muhammad (Narbonne HS) had 13 points and 6 rebounds. Sophomore guard Alec Hickman (Junipero Serra HS) added 13 points and 5 rebounds and sophomore forward Rodney Agee (HS) scored 10 points and had six rebounds.
In two games, Thiombane averages 85.7 percent shooting from the floor, fifth best in the state from more than 900 men’s basketball players. Three other Huskies have field goal percentages in the Top-50 statewide. Hunt averages 66.7%, Henderson 61.5 and sophomore forward Jermaine Small-Camacho (Hamilton HS) 60.0%.
The Huskies will be on the road in a highly anticipated game in Arizona pitting them against the No. 4-Arizona state ranked Mesa Community College.
This team is history in the making with their No. 2 ranking and national exposure (against) one of the top teams in Arizona,” said Mosley.
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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia