MONTEREY PARK — The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team — ranked No. 4 in the state — survived a threat to overcome determined El Camino College Compton Center, 93-86 in a South Coast Conference game Jan. 29 in Compton.
ELAC raised its record to 20-2 overall and remained unbeaten in the SCC, improving to 3-0 in the North Division.
The Huskies were scheduled to play L.A. Trade Tech College Feb. 3 to conclude the first half of North Division play. They will open the second half of North Division play Feb. 10 at Mt. San Antonio College.
There were three lead changes and the score was tied twice before Compton built a double-digit lead, 30-20 with 5:41 remaining in the first half of last week’s game at Compton.
The Huskies tried to rally, but the Tartars maintained a 10-point lead, leaving the court ahead, 44-34 at the half. ELAC found itself in a deeper hole three minutes into the second half, as Compton stretched its lead to 51-38.
Down by 13, the Huskies chipped away at the lead and staged a rally before an average-sized crowd in which fans on both sides turned up the volume to add to the drama and the intensity of the hotly contested game.
ELAC went ahead of Compton, 66-65 with 7:48 left thanks to a pair of free throws by forward Richard Bivens. The Huskies managed to sustain their momentum and a three-point basket by Iziahiah Sweeny off a pass from Miles Ford gave them their biggest lead, 77-70, with 5:44 remaining.
“We found a flow on offense in the second half followed by the defense putting together a stretch of limiting Compton to just one shot,” ELAC Coach John Mosley said.
Compton quickly countered and followed with a 7-2 run to tie it, 79-79 with 3:45 left. After three lead changes, ELAC had an 86-84 lead with 2:14 left before closing with a 7-2 run to win the game as the Huskies made seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
“This was really a big win for us because we kept coming back and it came against a good Compton team,” Mosley said.
With the loss, Compton fell to 12-10 overall and 2-2 in conference.
While ELAC outshot Compton 50.8 percent to 39.2 and had more blocked shots, 10-4, Compton scored more points off turnovers (27-18) and had more fast break points (22-16).
ELAC had six players score in double figures led by Sweeny’s 24 points. Guard Chandler Redix scored 14, Ford scored 10 and Bivens had the game’s only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Jarrell Tate and forward Zeno Lake came off the bench and scored 17 and 10 points, respectively.
The Huskies’ Arinze Anakwenze had a game-high three blocked shots.
Marquise Harris and Kyvonte Davis scored 19 points each to lead Compton. Michael Chavers scored 18 points for the Tartars.
Compton plays at Mt. San Antonio Feb. 5 and returns home to face Pasadena Feb. 10. Both games tip off at 7.