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Mounties hoops off to a great start; beat Cerritos again in conference play

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mt sac vs Cerritos

Mt. SAC's Corey Allen squares off against a Cerritos defender during Wednesday night's home game at Mt. SAC

coach freeman

Mt. SAC coach Criss Freeman gathers with his team to talk strategy Wednesday night against Cerritos

Ariel Carmona Jr

source: Mountiewire.com

Both Mt. SAC’s men’s and women’s basketball team have been having success in the winter season thus far. The women’s team (21-2, 10-0) opened up the month of November as champions of the Tip off tournament and followed up that early success with a second place finish in the Ventura tournament and a third place spot in the Sequoias tourney.
More recently they swept through the Fullerton tournament over Santa Monica, Moorpark and Cerritos.

In the new year, the team has looked impressive in South Coast Conference play with convincing wins over Pasadena, Compton and Cerritos. They are also ranked No.2 in the state by the California Community College Athletic Association.

The Mounties faced off against Cerritos again on Wednesday night and the outcome didn’t look as favorable early as the Falcons took an early 11-2 lead following great outside shooting by Cerritos’ sophomore guard Adrina Rendon.

Mt. SAC at first looked tentative with their outside jumpers, but climbed back into the game thanks to Ashley Burchfield’s 8 points, and the hot three point shooting of Leticia Galarza who contributed 9 points from beyond the arc, including back to back threes. Mt. SAC led at halftime 29-27 en route to a 59-48 win, their third of the season over the rival Falcons.

After Cerritos nearly tied the game, the Mounties took over with five minutes left in the contest. They outscored the Falcons 14-6, utilizing their defense to clamp down on the Cerritos attack which through the first 23 games of the season had posted an 8-2 conference record and a mark of 18-5 overall.

“I thought we played hard for 40 minutes, I thought the team stuck to the game plan for a large part of it and when we made adjustments they were able to make it work in our favor,” said coach Brian Chrichlow.

Defensively, Chrichlow said the team knew what they had to do. “We put more pressure on the ball, which made it difficult for those girls to get wide open looks and made it difficult for the passers to make those passes. We forced them to put the ball on the ground. We knew they could shoot, but we were able to close them out. We had to stop going for steals and leaving people wide open.”

The men’s team for their part seemed to have an easier time with a 27 point win, as they defeated Cerritos 85-58. The Falcons were coming in after their first conference win four days prior, but the Mounties were true on 48 percent of their field goals in the first half, led by Sophomore Lavelle McDade and freshman Garret Nevels, who combined for 23 points in the first half of play.

Mt. SAC was up 45-27 to start the second half and led by as much as 51-35 at the 7:20 mark of the period. The Falcons struggled from the field all night, sinking a mere 31 percent while Mt. SAC shot 50 percent, including eight 3 pointers. With the win the Mounties improved to 16-5 overall and 7-0 in the conference.

“They came out and played hard, they came out and played like I expected them to come out and play,” said coach Criss Freeman. “We usually do a good job at home, there are things we need to fix if we want to get to the next level and get in the top 5 and put up one of these banners like the women have. They work hard, they are a great group of guys, you can’t ask much more from them, they come out and put the game plan I put out on the board onto the floor for the most part. They play hard, that’s what gets our wins. That goes a long way in basketball.”

Freeman says despite injuries throughout the year, Mt.SAC’s reserves come out and practice hard and he said he was happy to be able to give some of them some time on the court. “To get them as much experience is great, it feels good for their confidence to give them some extended minutes.”

Both teams are on the road again this weekend. They tip off tonight against Southwest at 5 P.M. and 7 P.M. respectively.

Written by sgvsports

January 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm