M. Basketball: Falcons post big win over rival

File Photo: Tawon Elston scored a team-high 20 points off the bench
File Photo: Tawon Elston scored a team-high 20 points off the bench

In the last two weeks, the Cerritos College men's basketball team suffered a home loss and responded with a big win on the road. After their first of two straight home losses, the Falcons (14-5) bounced back for a 52-point win over Rio Hondo College. On Wednesday night, they took out their frustrations against rival Long Beach City College in a 94-75 South Coast Conference South Division victory. The win by the #10-ranked Falcons was the second this season over #6-ranked Long Beach City (15-4), who they defeated, 89-64 in the finals of the Irvine Valley Tournament. Cerritos will now host El Camino College on Friday at 5:00 p.m. in another South Divison game.

The Falcons led for almost the entire game, thanks in part to five straight points from sophomore Dezmon Murphy (La Mirada HS) early in the game. His scoring output gave Cerritos an 11-8 lead that they would never relinquish. After a Cody Wilkes (La Mirada HS) three-pointer with 13:59 left in the first half, it was an 18-12 advantage, and although it would be nearly five full minutes before they scored again, the team's defense enabled them to maintain their advantage.

Freshman Jalen Washington (Bishop Montgomery HS) converted a three-point play for a 25-16 lead with 7:42 left on the clock, and took a 44-37 lead into the lockerroom after the Vikings Jace Bass ended the half with a three-pointer.

Cerritos opened the second half by scoring the first nine points, including three successful free throws by Wilkes after he was fouled to give the team a 53-37 lead. Wilkes pushed the advantage to 20 points (69-49) when he netted a three-pointer with 13:22 remaining. The lead would dip under 10 points twice midway through the second half, but the Falcons had enough firepower to come away with the win.

Sophomore Tawon Elston (Roosevelt HS) came off the bench to lead the team with 20 points, which included going 8-fof-15 from the field and converting all three of his three-pointers. Murphy (19 points, seven rebounds) and Wilkes (19 points) combined to go 12-for-21 from the field, with sophomore Jamal Heckard (Carson HS/El Camino College) accounting for 12 points, four assists and three rebounds. Freshman Chance Hunter (Inglewood HS) produced eight points and led the team with 12 rebounds, with Washington finishing with seven points and five assists in his 19 minutes off the bench.