East LA Stuns Long Beach
LONG BEACH—The East Los Angeles College Huskies men's basketball team upset Long Beach City College, 92-73, in a CCCAA Southern Regional playoff game in front of 750 fans.
The Southern Regional No. 13-seed Huskies, 21-10 overall, will advance to the CCCAA State Championships for the first time in its 69-year history. No. 8-seed Long Beach, the South Coast Conference South Division champion, ended their season 23-7.
The State tournament will be held at Cerritos College, for the second consecutive year, on Friday March 13. In the semifinals, ELAC faces Merritt College (25-6) at 5 p.m. followed by Saddleback College (31-2) taking on Cañada College (24-6) at 7 p.m.
ELAC outscored Long Beach 50-29 in the second half erasing a 44-42 deficit at the half.
"Our guys got caught up in their style of playing in the first half," said ELAC Head Coach John Mosley. "We stuck to our plan in the second half limiting them to one shot, making it a point to rebound, which was the difference in the game."
Long Beach missed 16 one-shot attempts in the second half shooting 7 of 25. ELAC outrebounded Long Beach, 26-14, in the second half.
After 11 lead changes, ELAC took the lead for good, 62-60, with 12:24 left off a freshman forward Marquis Salmon (Lancaster Village Christian High School) 3-point shot, assisted by freshman guard Miles Ford (Alhambra HS).
ELAC followed with a 13-2 run to increase its lead to 74-62 with 3:59 left. A brief Long Beach 4-2 run ensued to wake up the home crowd and pulled the Vikings to within 10 points, 76-66, but that's as close as Long Beach would get.
The game began with Long Beach racing to a 6-0 lead en route to an 11-2 lead, its largest in the game, with 16:15 left in the first half.
ELAC inched its way to a 17-all tie, the first of five in the game, off a Salmon layup, assisted by Ford, with 11:28 left in the half.
"We had to play patient for each shot working together as one (unit)," said Mosley.
The Huskies' were led in scoring by sophomore guards Je'Ron Primus (Westchester HS) and Marcus Romain (Brooklyn, NY Progressive Christian) with 20 points apiece. Salmon knocked in 19 points.
Long Beach sophomore guard Brandon Staton (Long Beach Poly HS) scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the games only double-double.
Sophomore guard Michael Shivers (Missouri Hannibal HS) and freshman guard Elijah Gaines (San Pedro HS) scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Saddleback defeated San Bernardino Valley College, 52-33, in the other Southern Regional Round 4 game.
Northern Regional finals Round 4 results included No. 10-seed Cañada with an upset win against No. 3-seed College of Marin (26-4) and No. 5-seed Merritt scoring a 73-70 win against No. 17-seed Foothill College (15-17).
Foothill scored the upset of the men's basketball playoffs, a 72-64 stunner against No. 1-ranked Fresno City College on Feb. 28.
By Tadzio Garcia, ELAC Sports Information Intern