Although it was just the first South Coast Conference South Division game, it had all the makings of a playoff contest. Hosting ECC Compton Center on Wednesday night, the Cerritos College men's basketball team was defeated on a last-second shot, 90-89. The team will look to rebound on Friday when they travel to Los Angeles Southwest College for a 5:00 p.m. game.
Trailing, 88-87 in the final seconds, freshman Dezmon Murphy (La Mirada HS) put the team on top, 89-88 with a turn-around jumper with just 6.0 seconds left in regulation. The Tartars (18-3, 1-0) dribbled quickly to the three-point line, where it looked liked Jayvon Brown was going to attempt the final shot. As the Cerritos (14-4, 0-1) defenders closed in on him, Brown spotted Anthony Fitzpatrick alone under the basket and he converted a layup at the buzzer for the winning basket.
The Falcons held an early 21-16 lead, but both teams would go on offensive spurts with the lead changing 14 times throughout the game. Cerritos took a 50-48 at halftime when sophomore Salvador Carlos (Downey HS/Biola University) picked up a loose ball and hit an awkward three-pointer from 30 feet out at the buzzer for three points.
When sophomore Tyler Payne (La Mirada HS) drained a three-pointer with 10:31 left in the second half, Cerritos held a 73-66 advantage. But the officials ruled that his celebration was a little too much and he was hit with a technical foul. It would take the Falcons 3:21 before they would score their next point, as ECC Compton Center went on a 7-0 run. In the final 8:25 of the game, the contest would be tied three times and the lead would change seven times.
Sophomores Brian Nebo (St. John Bosco HS) and Cristian Perez (Santa Fe HS) each scored 15 points in the loss and combined for 10 rebounds, while Carlos finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Freshman Malik Smith (Gahr HS) posted 13 points and five assists off the bench, with Murphy finishing with 11 points and four rebounds.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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