Cerritos avoid late collapse to beat El Camino


Taylor Ogata

Khalid Washington (#1) shows a soft hand on this layup. Washington had nine points, a rebound, and an assist on the night. Photo credit: Taylor Ogata

Terrel Emerson, Sports Editor

At halftime up 30-18 sophomore forward/center Jamal Watson mentioned to his teammates that their goal should be to keep El Camino to 12 points in the second half.

Almost the exact opposite happened, as the Warriors put up 44 points in the final 16 minutes of the game.

“We were motivated to play. Our guys took a step back and we didn’t play with any intensity. And that’s what happens even against teams your pounding,” May said.

The Warriors tightened up on defense as the game wore on, ultimately forcing the Falcons to commit 13 of their 20 turnovers in the second half.

Also during the intermission despite being up by 12 points, May reminded the team last season Cerritos had a halftime lead over El Camino but ended up losing in double overtime.

“If you get the opportunity to win a game and put teams away you have to take advantage of it,” May said.

Freshman guard Brian Nebo felt the reminder from May was meant to motivate.

“He didn’t want the same thing to happen this year and to have us strap on and [not] take these guys lightly. As you can see we did kind of and they pushed their way back,” he said.

After tying a season-low two three-point attempts against LA Southwest, Nebo came out and drained his first three point attempts.

“It’s just repetition in the gym, putting up shots on off days and after practice. Being the first man in the gym and the last out,” Nebo said.

He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes of play.

As he was forced to sit out the final 12 plus minutes after twisting his ankle and catching an elbow from his teammate Khalid Washington.

The aggressive play was visible all night long, as a total of three technical fouls were called during the game.

During the first half El Camino guard Dreymon Jones held Watson and the two had words much to the dismay of the referee as both were assessed technical fouls.

El Camino coach Robert Uphoff and May had different views on the flow of the game.

“I think it’s good conference basketball. Cerritos and us always have battles right down to the wire typically. We both have similar styles, physical styles, aggressive in the paint,” Uphoff said.

May however, feels as though the struggling Warriors let their emotions get the best of them.

“There was a little extra, there was some cheap shots. They’re frustrated so they got a little chippy and the officials had to do what they had to do,” May said.

Things may only get worse for the Falcons as rival Long Beach City is next on the schedule with first place in the conference up for grabs Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Maybe it wasn’t just the players, as late in the second half Uphoff was assessed a technical too.

“I was really frustrated when we were making that run there and cut it down to seven, the officiating became really one-sided. The same kind of contact we were getting called for we didn’t get on our end,” Uphoff said.