Falcons down Vaqueros in men’s basketball

Martin Calderon

The dynamic duo of power forward Marquise Washington and guard Andrew Torres executed a specially designed play in the final seconds of the game to defeat the Glendale College Vaqueros 71-70 in overtime, bringing the Cerritos College Falcons men’s basketball team to .500 after eight games.

The play was called by Falcons head coach Russ May in a huddle during a timeout.

With eight seconds left in overtime, Torres drove the ball toward the basket, then passed it to a double-teamed Washington on a give-and-go.

“When he passed me the ball my eyes got big.” Washington said.

“The two defenders were shorter than me so I could see right over them and Torres was wide open so I passed it right back.”

That is when Torres scored what ended up being the game-winning shot.

“I’m just glad we scored on our last possession.” May said.

Vaqueros wing, Mike Johnson, ultimately had the last opportunity to score, but could not convert the short jump shot into a game winner.

The Falcons got off to a slow start, missing their first eight shot attempts and did not score a field goal in nearly the first seven minutes of play.

There were several turnovers by both teams in the first half of the game with both of them possessing the ball approximately the same amount of time.

The Falcons lead the Vaqueros 31-30 at the end of the first half, making 37.9 percent of their field goals, a percentage nearly identical to that of the Vaqueros (38.2 percent).

At halftime, assistant coach Rob Brooks said, “We played without fouling, we were able to keep them off the (free throw) line.”

The Vaqueros reached their biggest lead of the game in the second half with a nine point advantage, convincing coach May to call a timeout with 5:08 left in regulation.

The Falcons came out of the break and scored six unanswered points to bring them within three points of the lead.

Shortly after, Falcons forward, Jon Benson, made a game-changing steal which set David Hall up to convert the game-tying point, sending the game into overtime.

After the game, an excited assistant coach, Jordan Littlejohn mentioned what led up to the Falcons’ fourth straight win this season.

“They are finally beginning to grasp the concept of what Coach May is teaching them: how to win, play defense and offense properly, as well as their team game.”

“I think they’ve matured and maybe that 0-4 (season) start is what we needed so we could get to this point, where they can listen and learn.”

Freshman guard Kevin Conrad was the leading scorer with 20 points for the Falcons and brought the crowd in the stands to their feet after slipping past one defender and dunking over another in the first half.

Washington finished with 17 points and led the game in rebounding with 10.

The College of the Sequoias Tournament will be the next task for the Falcons on Dec. 14-16.