Payne leads men’s basketball to beat the Bulldogs

Dillon+Reise+%28%2332%29+and+Jay+Merriweather+%28%232%29+double-teams+Marcellus+Garrick+%28%2322%29+of+Allan+Hancock.+Reise+had+eight+points%2C+a+rebound%2C+and+three+assists+while+Merriweather+had+four+rebounds%2C+an+assist%2C+and+a+steal.+Photo+credit%3A+Taylor+Ogata

Taylor Ogata

Dillon Reise (#32) and Jay Merriweather (#2) double-teams Marcellus Garrick (#22) of Allan Hancock. Reise had eight points, a rebound, and three assists while Merriweather had four rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Photo credit: Taylor Ogata

Taylor Ogata

The first non-tournament regular season game for the Cerritos College men’s basketball team was a wire-to-wire win, despite the Falcons nearly falling apart at crunch time.

Tyler Payne led Cerritos with 14 points off the bench, while Jonathan Brown shined with five assists and Jay Merriweather, Khalid Washington, and Jamal Watson each grabbed four rebounds.

The Falcons, despite a near collapse late in the game, managed to eke out a 60-58 victory over the Allan Hancock Bulldogs in front of 74 people at Joe White Memorial Gym at Allan Hancock College.

Cerritos had a 38-26 lead at halftime, but was outscored 32-22 in the second half and still managed to hang on after two missed free throws late in regulation led to a chance for Allan Hancock to win the game with a half court shot that missed.

“We had to play better defense and make our free throws as well as move our feet, which we didn’t do very well, but we still managed to hang on,” Payne said.

“It was also a great game, especially since I am returning from a knee injury,” he added.

Washington said, “We always have to play hard. And we also have to work hard at every practice.”

Head coach Russ May said, “[My team] can’t be satisfied with a lead after the first half. We needed to right the intensity in the second half and [Allan Hancock] almost eliminated our entire lead.”

“[The men] also have to play better defense as well as move their feet and play more zone defense in order to curb foul trouble,” he added.

The Falcons were in foul trouble for the entire game as they wound up putting Allan Hancock in the double bonus in both halves with ten fouls in each half.

“We just have to play a little more conservative especially on defense, and we also have to stay together as a team and do everything that we do in practice,” guard Luis Medearis, who contributed with seven points off the bench, said.

With the win, Cerritos improves to 5-2 overall.

The Falcons will be back in action at the Riverside Community College tournament starting with a match up against Fullerton College on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

The first game at home will be on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. against El Camino College-Compton Center.