M. Basketball: Falcons suffer first loss of the season

The Falcon men's basketball team drops second in a row
The Falcon men's basketball team drops second in a row

After opening the season with a tournament championship, the Cerritos College men's basketball team was looking to match that feat at the Irvine Valley Tournament this weekend. With wins over both College of the Canyons (84-74) and American River College (102-62), the Falcons came up short on Saturday, as they dropped a 74-66 decision against Ventura College in the finals. The 66 points were the least scored by Cerritos this season, and will travel to San Bernardino Valley College for a 5:00 p.m. game on Wednesday. The Falcons opened the season ranked #5 in the state, while the Wolverines opened the season #4 in the state.

Cerritos vs. College of the Canyons: Led by sophomore Demetrius Thomas (Bassick, CT HS/Porterville CC), and Riley Hamilton (Rancho Verde HS), who combined for 42 points, the Falcons were able to hold off the Cougars, who made a late run. With 2:29 left on the clock, Cerritos led comfortably, 81-65 after a Hamilton jumper. Canyons outscored the Falcons, 9-3 the remainder of the game, but the damage had already been done. Hamilton scored his 20 points in just 21 minutes, while Thomas added nine rebounds to his 22 points, with the Falcons turning the ball over just five times. Off the bench, sophomore Keshaun Mack (Long Beach Jordan HS/Antelope Valley College) and Cody Wilkes (La Mirada HS) combined for 21 points, with sophomore Jason Carter (View Park HS/Santa Monica College) accounting for eight points and four rebounds. Freshman Christian Alvis (Whittier Christian HS) was inserted into the starting lineup and dished out six assists and no turnovers to go with his five points.

Cerritos vs. American River: A 52-point first half led the Falcons to a 40-point win over the Beavers, as the team netted 12 three-pointers. They also turned 17 American River turnovers into 25 points with Thomas netting 9-of-13 points on his way to a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Alvis turned in another outstanding game as the point guard, dishing out 10 assists, while adding seven points. Mack posted 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench, with Riley (17 points) and Wilkes (12 points) also scoring in double-figures.

Cerritos vs. Ventura: Wilkes (six points) and Hamilton (two points), who were named to the All-Tournament Team, where held in check against the Pirates, who scored half of their points in the paint. A Wilkes three-pointer with 11:08 left in the first half gave the Falcons a 15-14 lead, which would prove to be their last on the day. Cerritos trailed by as many as 12 points (41-29), but got the game to within three points (47-44) with 11:58 left after a pair of Hamilton free throws. But the team went 4:44 until their next points, as the Pirates went on a 7-0 run. In that time, Cerritos got off just one shot attempt, while they turned the ball over four times. Mack led the team with 16 points, with freshman Tawon Elston (Roosevelt HS) posting 12 points, while Carter (nine points, eight rebounds) and Thomas (six points, eight rebounds) also helped the team pull out the win. Off the bench, freshman Isaiah Tyler (Redondo Union HS) pulled down seven rebounds.