After the Cerritos College men's basketball team fell behind by five points in the second half against visiting Compton College on Wednesday, a trio of hot shooters got the team back in front three points at a time. The visiting Tartars opened up a 44-39 lead with 15:23 left in the second half, and the Falcons found themselves in a battle to extend their winning streak. But the trio of freshmen Christian Alvis (Whittier Christian HS) and Cody Wilkes (La Mirada HS), along with sophomore Riley Hamilton (Rancho Verde HS) all hit a pair of three-pointers to help push Cerritos out to a 56-55 advantage in the span of four minutes, en route to an 84-72 South Coast Conference South Division win.
Even after Compton pulled to within 67-66, thanks to a three-pointer from Jaylen Million, Hamilton converted four straight free throws, while sophomore Demetrius Thomas (Bristol, CT HS/Porterville College) threw down a thunderous dunk to begin another rally. The lead eventually swelled to a game-high 12 points (78-66) in the final minute, as the Falcons controlled the rebounds off missed shots. It wasn't always that easy on the night, with Compton forcing 14 turnovers and both teams having problems connecting passes at times during the game.
Each time the Tartars would get close, thanks to the outside shooting of Million and Chris Townsell, who combined for eight three-pointers and scored 19 points each, the Falcons had several answers. Alvis hit three consecutive three-pointers in the second half on his way to five on the night and 19 points. Wilkes, who contributed 11 second half points (three three-pointers), was joined by both Hamilton (22 points, six steals, five rebounds) and Thomas (20 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots) in the Falcons offensive explosion during a 53-point second half.
Thomas and sophomore Keshaun Mack (Long Beach Jordan HS/Antelope Valley College) controlled the boards in the first half, with Mack finishing the game with 10 points and nine caroms. Cerritos out-rebounded the Tartars, 36-28 and also shot 47% from the field and 57% (13-for-23) from three-point range.
The Falcons (22-4, 7-0) will look to extend their eight-game winning streak on Friday when they travel to Los Angeles Southwest College for a 7:00 p.m. divisional game.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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