The Cerritos College men’s basketball team hopes to turn the success it has had this season into a playoff berth.
The Falcons concluded the first half of the season with a 13-2 record, winning three of the four tournaments they participated in.
Sophomore forward Anthony Lefeau stated, “It’s something special, we didn’t plan it, it just happened.”
Finishing tournament play with an eight game win streak the team hopes to carry over the success it has had into conference play.
Head coach Russ May said, “We hope preseason has prepared us […] we hope that we learned things about ourselves and set some standards that we want to hold up in conference.”
Cerritos will play the first conference game at home against EC-Compton Wednesday, Jan. 18.
The Falcons conference includes EC-Compton, El Camino, Long Beach, LA Southwest and LA Harbor colleges.
EC-Compton holds the highest overall record in the conference this seasonat 17-3 and are riding a 10 game win streak.
EC-Compton Cerritos and El Camino(9-8) are the only teams in the conference besides Cerritos to boasting a record above .500.
Despite the lack of success by the other teams in the conference, May understands that conference is a different dynamic.
“In conference play all your opponents have scouted you, they know your strengths and weaknesses, it’s a little bit more of a chess match,” he said.
All 10 remaining games this season for the Falcons will be conference games and will decide the seeding for the playoffs.
The winner of the conference is awarded an automatic berth into the postseason.
No matter who the Falcons face they are confident in their team’s ability to make a run at the state championship.
Sophomore forward Cristian Perez said, “I think we can win it all. We have a great team from the first guy to the last guy.”
May agrees with his forward adding,“We have a really good group of guys, great character guys and I know we’re going to battle every night.”
This years team has 12 players, eight of which are sophomores and five are first year players.
The team is shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three point line while also converting on 68 percent of its free throws.
The team’s shooting has improved from last season in every category.
May said,”We knew we’d be better shooting, we really tried to improve and so far it has worked out.”
Though only 16 games into this season the Falcons are statistically averaging more points, assists and shooting higher percentages than last years squad that finished 8-0 in conference and made it to the second round of the regional playoffs.
Coach May concluded, “We’re ready for 2017.”