M. Basketball: Win over rival caps off undefeated divisional season

File Photo: Cameron McCoy scored the majority of his 39 points under the basket
File Photo: Cameron McCoy scored the majority of his 39 points under the basket

For the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Cerritos College men's basketball team went through the South Coast Conference South Division season undefeated. The Falcons (19-9, 10-0), winners of their last 12 games, posted a 93-87 win over visiting Long Beach City College on Friday. The team will find out on Sunday where they are seeded for the Southern California Regional Playoffs, with the first round to be played on Wednesday, February 28.

The highlight of the game for Cerritos was the performance of sophomore Cameron McCoy (Taft HS), who scored a career-high 39 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds. The 39 points were the most scored by a Falcon player since Willie Joseph lit up Riverside City College for 39 points in 1985.

It was an up and down high-voltage game from the outset, with the Falcons jumping out and scoring the first six points of the game. Cerritos, who led from start to finish, withstood every Viking comeback attempt. In the first half alone, the lead swayed back from nine points to as few as four. Leading 39-34 with 1:25 remaining, sophomore Eric Clark (Cerritos HS) converted a three-point play with 1:10 left. After LB City responded, freshman Dillon Botts (Mayfair HS) knocked down a three-pointer near the end of the half.

Although they took a 45-38 lead into halftime, Cerritos watched the Vikings come out in the second half and score the first four points. The Falcons were always able to respond with McCoy converting a post move, as the majority of his points came that way. He went 2:13 in the second half by accounting for all 10 points by Cerritos for a 63-51 lead with 12:36 left.

Botts made it a 68-55 lead after he drained a three-pointer with 10:42 left. It was as close as 68-64 until sophomore Everett May (Los Alamitos HS) converted a pair of free throws, while McCoy connected on four straight to make it a 74-68 game with 7:01 left. Freshman Darron Henry (Long Beach Poly HS) finished off a three-point play with 5:05 left to make it an 80-74 game. Cerritos seemed to have the game locked up after May drained a baseline three-pointer, followed by two more free throws from McCoy, which made it an 87-77 game.

On the night, McCoy connected on 14-of-20 shots, as well as 11-of-12 free throws, while he hauled down 14 rebounds, which both led the team. Sophomore Miles Ceballos (Crossroads HS/Ventura College) was the only other Cerritos player to score in double-figures, as he added 10 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Clark (nine points, four rebounds), Botts (nine points, four rebounds) and May (eight points, four rebounds, two blocks) all played well in the win.