M. Basketball: Falcons seeded #5 for playoffs

Falcons were seeded #5 for the playoffs
Falcons were seeded #5 for the playoffs

Southern California Bracket
Northern California Bracket

After winning the South Coast Conference South Division title, the Cerritos College men's basketball team has been seeded #5 for the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Falcons (24-5), who saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end in the regular season finale, will receive a bye in the first round then host #12-seeded Riverside City College (16-10) at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The Tigers finished in a tie for third place in the Orange Empire Conference. The winner of the game will advance to the third round and face the winner of the #4-seeded East Los Angeles College game, which will take place on Saturday. The Huskies will find out who their opponent is after a first round game between Santiago Canyon and College of the Canyons, who will face each other on Wednesday.

This will be the first meeting between Cerritos and Riverside City this season, and the first time they have ever squared off in the postseason. The last time these two schools faced each other was during the 2012-13 season with the Tigers posting a 61-58 decision.

The Falcons are led by Demetrius Thomas (Bassick, CT HS/Porterville College), the division's Player of the Year. On the season, Thomas leads the team with a 16.8 scoring average and also paces the team with 8.4 rebounds a game, while converting 58% of his field goals and 74% of his free throws. Also a threat from long rage, he's fourth on the team with 27 three-pointers made and also leads the team in steals (52) and blocked shots (34). Additionally, sophomore Keshaun Mack (Long Beach Jordan HS/Antelope Valley College) is second on the team with a 12.6 scoring average, while also averaging 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game. One of multiple three-point threats, Mack is third on the team with 37 three-pointers and is accurate on 40% of those attempts.

Sophomore Jonathan Guzman (Paramount HS) accounts for 8.9 points a game, and currently ranks fourth in the state in field goal percentage at 64.4%. Another big man who has contributed is sophomore Jason Carter (View Park HS/Santa Monica College), who averages 9.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and shoots 70% from the free throw line. Sophomore swingman Riley Hamilton (Rancho Verde HS) has averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds and is successful on 84% from the charity stripe for the entire season.

The magic number for Cerritos this season has been 80, as the team is 13-0 when scoring 80 or more points in a game. On the year, the team averages 80.7 points a game. The Falcons are 7-4 against teams that qualified for the playoffs this season, while the Tigers have gone 6-7.

Leading Riverside City this season has been the trio of Brae Ivey (18 ppg), Andre Wilson (16.4 ppg) and Jordan Robinson (14.5 ppg), as they have accounted for 66% of their scoring each game. Ivey has recorded three 30-point games, including a 37-point outburtst against Saddleback College, where he converted six three-pointers. But he's just third on the team from long range, with Kane Daniels (62) and Wilson (55) posting more this year. Wilson drained a season-high seven three-pointers against Santa Ana College, with Daniels also making seven against East Los Angeles College. Robinson (9.2) leads the Tigers in rebounding, while Ivey is a good distributor of the ball, with his 4.8 assists leading the team.