MSJC Men’s Basketball season ended last Friday night as East Los Angeles narrowly defeated the team in the second round of CCCAA championships 79-77
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
If you’re a basketball player on any team, making post-season is awesome. Having home court advantage is even more awesome. The Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) men’s team had such advantage in Round Two of the CCCAA Tournament on Friday night, as they took on the East Los Angeles Huskies.
The Eagles got off to a good start with the first two points of the game and an early lead. But it didn’t last long as the Huskies soon took the lead and ran hard with it. Even after a few timeouts, the Eagles couldn’t gain in the first half. At halftime, the score was 51-37–East L.A.
The decibel level rose to all-time highs as the second half commenced as multiple fouls were called and Eagles’ fans were angry. Some fans even dared the refs to “blow your whistles again.” But through the shouting and the errors of judgment, the Eagles managed to close the gap to just 6, as the score reached 64-58 East L.A. at the 10-minute mark. And at 2:37 ‘till zero… they equalized at 72. The two teams stayed neck-and-neck until the Huskies pulled ahead in the last three seconds to advance in the tournament 79-77. Small Forward Carl Brown, who dropped in 16 points and rebounded 11 times this game, expressed his frustration with his team’s narrow elimination.
“We didn’t come out focused the first 20 minutes of the game,” said Brown. “Our whole game plan preparing into this game was ‘in the pain,’” meaning the team who was more physical would move on in the tournament, as Brown described it. “It’s not hard; we just have to be all on the same page.”
Before fouling out, Jared Taylor added 13 points and 10 rebounds, Mat Bradshaw chipped in 13 as well, and Tre Nottingham delivered 11.
Even though the season’s now over for the Eagles, the game of life plays on. Brown expressed interest in pursuing university athletics. Where, you ask? He’s keeping the list of possibles under wraps for now. “I don’t wanna say anything ’til I know for sure.”
Brown also wishes to show his fans the same love they showed his team this season: “We had a good fan base, and I appreciate them coming out. I wish we could’ve won the game for them… It hurts to lose like that.” There’s always next season, though. Speaking of which, if you come from a championship-winning high school team (you know who you are) or otherwise think you have what it takes to bring the Eagles to victory, go to www.msjc.edu/athletics and click on Men’s Basketball. There you’ll find information for prospective players and learn more about the guys who push the Eagles to do their best. The rest, as they say, is in your court.