ELAC basketball teams advance in state playoffs

East Los Angeles College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams have both advanced to the California Community College Athletic Association state championships with wins last weekend.

The men’s team held off second seed El Camino Compton Center, 83-80 in the third round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs March 4  to advance to the CCCAA State Championships for the second time in three years.

The Huskies (23-6), who are also in the Elite Eight for the third consecutive season, are the third seed from Southern California and play Feather River College (25-3), the North two seed, at 3 p.m. March 9 at Las Positas College in Livermore.

The women defeated Pasadena City College, 70-64 in overtime, March 4 to advance to the state championships.

ELAC plays College of the Siskiyous (29-1) at 3 p.m. March 10. Siskiyous has won 27 straight since losing to Sierra nearly four months ago.

The women used a 9-0 run to break open a tight game with Pasadena in the third meeting between the SCC North rivals this season. Monica Garcia’s layup gave the Huskies a 49-38 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter.

But the Lancers, who were overwhelmed in the fourth quarter of their previous game with the Huskies (a 78-49 loss), chipped away and tied it, 53-53, with 1:11 left on two free throws by Jolene Robinson.

With 20 seconds remaining, Robinson fought through the paint and laid it off the glass but her shot attempt spun off the front of the rim and the game went to overtime.

In overtime, Pasadena briefly took the lead on a free throw by Kandace Payne, 54-53. From that point on, it was the Huskies’ Gomez who sank three jumpers and was 8-for-9 from the line that turned things back to ELAC’s favor. Gomez finished with a game-high 27 points.

Garcia finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Farrah Castillo scored eight points and had four assists, and Wuanyei Ah-Hing had eight points. Gloria Ortiz came off the bench to handle eight rebounds and add four points. Garcia and Ah-Hing did not start the game.

In the men’s game, Compton (27-5) led early and built an 18-9 lead. ELAC got its first lead, 36-35, with 13 seconds left in the half. Compton’s Jayvon Brown scored a three-pointer10 seconds later, and the Tartars led 38-36 at the break.

With the score tied, 48-48 five minutes into the second half, ELAC went on a 16-4 run and led 62-52 five minutes later, ending with a dunk from Roderick Williams, the Huskies’ University of Texas at El Paso-bound forward.

Compton chipped away at the lead and pulled to within 73-72, with 2:22 left in the game on free throws by Alonzo Taylor. ELAC answered with a 5-0 run and led 78-72 with 1:06 remaining.

But Compton which leads, or is ranked No. 2, in the state in seven categories, including points per game (94.5), wasn’t finished. The Tartars used an 8-3 run to reduce their deficit to 81-80, with seven seconds left.

ELAC’s Frank Bertz swished two free throws to extend the lead to the final margin of victory with five seconds left and Brown missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it at the buzzer.

Fans and cheerleaders stormed the court in celebration. Williams tried to hold back tears.

Williams scored a team-high 25 points that included three dunks, Bertz scored 18 and Sequan added 15.


ELAC basketball teams stay alive in state playoff action

Two of the hottest teams in the community college ranks will square off at 7 p.m. March 4 when East Los Angeles College visits El Camino Compton Center in the third round of the state Southern California playoffs.

Compton, the second seed, defeated Ventura, 96-80 Feb. 25 to raise its record to 27-4. The Tartars have won five straight.

ELAC scored a stunning 79-77 victory at Mt. San Jacinto Feb. 24 to advance. The 10th seeded Huskies (22-6) take a seven-game winning streak into the contest.

It will be the first meeting of the season between Compton and ELAC, which are both in the South Coast Conference, but are grouped in separate divisions. Compton won the South title and ELAC captured the North.

A tip in by Zeno Lake with two seconds left in the game lifted ELAC to the 79-77 win at Mt. San Jacinto. Lake, a sophomore from Compton High School, scored off a missed shot by Sequan Walker. He finished the game with 15 points and seven rebounds.

A three-pointer by Mt. San Jacinto’s Mat Bradshaw had tied the score with 16 seconds left after free throws by Jesus Zesati had given the Huskies a 77-74 lead.

Walker finished with a team-high 18 points to lead ELAC, which led by 14 at halftime. He also had three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Roderick Williams scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished off two assists and got two steals. Frank Bertz added 10 points and Chima Wami put in nine points and five rebounds

Mt. San Jacinto finished its season 22-11.

Compton was led by Jayvon Brown with 26 points and four assists in its victory over Ventura. The Tartars were down 48-46 at the half, but Anthony Fitzpatrick helped lead a second half rally. He scored 14 of his 22 points and had six of his eight rebounds in the second half.

Dajion Henderson scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds, Kyvonte Davis had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Michael Chavers added 12 points to also lead Compton.

Ventura, the 18th seed had defeated Irvine Valley in the first round. It finished the season 18-13.


The ELAC women’s team faces an all-too-familiar opponent in Pasadena March 4 in a third round SoCal regional. The second seeded Huskies (27-2) will play its South Coast Conference North rival for the third time this season. ELAC won the two previous meetings.

The Huskies beat Santa Ana, 88-74 Feb. 25 in the second round behind sophomore guard Allissa Gomez. The Roosevelt High product had 21 points, four assists and three steals.

She was one of five Huskies to score in double figures. Tiffani Martinez scored 17 points and Katrina Reeves had 16. Anastasia Tsybaeva scored 13 points and had eight rebounds and Gloria Ortiz added 10 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.

Point guard Farrah Castillo dished off nine assists, had three rebounds and a steal to go with five points.

Pasadena (21-9), the 10th seed, scored an impressive 72-65 win at No. 7 Saddleback (22-10) to earn another shot at the Huskies.