M. Basketball: Pair of sophomores added to scholarship list

(L-R) Cristian Perez, Salvador Carlos & Tyler Payne have all signed National Letters of Intent
(L-R) Cristian Perez, Salvador Carlos & Tyler Payne have all signed National Letters of Intent


Two more members of the Cerritos College men's basketball team have inked their names to National Letter of Intent paperwork. Joining forward Cristian Perez, who signed with Division I Sacramento State University last week, guards Tyler Payne (Western Washington University) and Salvador Carlos (University of Alaska Fairbanks) will also be moving to the next level.

Payne, a two-time 1st Team All-South Coast Conference selection, averaged 8.2 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game for the Falcons. He was second on the team with 37 three-pointers made and shot 76% from the free throw line. Payne recorded a season-high 28 points with five three-pointers against College of the Sequoias on his way to being named the MVP of the Sequoias Tournament. He went 5-for-5 from three-point range on his way to 20 points against El Camino College and had four three-pointers in three other games. He also dished out a season-high nine assists and pulled down a season-high seven rebounds twice.

"Tyler is an incredible captain and leader who has overcome numerous challenges (knee injury, appendectomy) to get to this moment," said head coach Russ May. "This guy makes everyone around him better and his tireless work ethic has inspired all his teammates. He has left a huge positive mark on the program. Western Washington just got better today."

As for Carlos, a transfer from Biola University, he finished third on the team with a 10.1 scoring average and led the team with 46 three-pointers made. Carlos also averaged 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, while he posted a season-high 21 points against San Bernardino Valley College and had 20 points against El Camino College. He netted a season-high five three-pointers on his way to his season-high in points, and hauled down 12 rebounds against Long Beach City College.

"Salvador was one of the best shooters we had here in a long time," added May. "He is a tough competitive guy who played with passion and intensity at all times. Incredible teammate who is very coachable. We will miss his passion and enthusiasm. I believe Sal will set some records up at Alaska Fairbanks."

Payne will be joining a Vikings team that went 25-6 last season and won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. They qualified for the NCAA Division II West Regional, but were defeated in the first round by the University of San Diego. Joining Western Washington in the GNAC is Alaska Fairbanks, who came in tied for ninth place, while the teams split their two meetings last season. The Nanooks went 13-16 on the year and did not earn a post-season bid.

Two more sophomores - Brian Nebo and Anthony Lefeau - are still weighing their options, while another sophomore, Devan Burrell, will be joining the Falcon football team.