Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Falcons men’s basketball goes down to the wire in 87-83 win vs Long Beach City College

Carlos Ruiz
No. 15 Freshman Isaiah Tyler was the hero of the game as he stepped up and made two clutch free-throws to win the game. Falcons won 83-87.

Cerritos College men’s basketball squad went pound for pound with Long Beach City College, the Falcons prevailed 87-83, with two game winning free throws.

It was the team’s 25th annual Coaches vs. Cancer game, where the basketball team fundraises for cancer patients during the game.

This year’s game was especially emotional as the game was dedicated to Mike May, the brother of Falcons’ men’s basketball head coach Russ May, who passed away on Jan. 29 at the age of 53, after a long time having cancer.

Wednesday’s game went down to the final seconds as each team answered the other with haymakers, in front of a packed house full of fans and supporters of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative.

No. 15 Freshman guard Isaiah Tyler, was “cool like a yetti, eating frozen spaghetti” knocking down two game-winning free throws, as he went to the line with the game tied 83 all and the clock froze at 3.5 seconds remaining in the game.

Tyler, who matched Dwayne Wade’s composure at the foul line going 6-for-6 in the game, said, “I just told myself I have to stay calm and shoot them one at a time, that’s where I was contributing.

He also spoke about sinking the clutch free throws, “I’m glad that I got that opportunity and I seized it,” said Tyler.

The team went 28-35 (80 percent) from the free throw line.

Cerritos College came out the gates shooting lights out–making its first four 3-point attempts. On the other end, LBCC missed its first four 3-pointers, as the team found itself down by eight points.

As the game progressed, it became very tight, there were eight ties and nine lead changes throughout.

Riding a six-game win streak, the team will have to adapt without star player No. 14 guard Keshaun Mack (18 points), as he was helped off the floor with under two minutes left in the game. “I tried to take a charge and stepped on [an opponents shoe]–it rolled my ankle again,” Mack said.

No. 14 Keshaun Mack looks to score. Mack had 18 points in the game, before going down with an injury. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

He will miss Friday’s game and according to, Mack “it’s not looking too good for Wednesday.” Mack was told by medical staff that he sustained a “pretty bad sprain.”

The Falcons had a strangle hold on the ball when it came to rebounds, edging out LBCC 43-29 on the glass.

No. 21 6’7″ forward Jonathan Guzman had a season-high 18 rebounds (eight offensive), in a season-high 31-minutes off the bench.

Guzman, who shot 38 percent from the field, said, “I know if my shot ain’t falling, I gotta contribute to the team somehow, so I’m going to go try to grab a rebound.”

He managed to record his second double-double of the season, by adding 14 points to his 18 rebound night.

No. 1 Demetrius Thomas said this was one of the biggest games of the season because it put the team two games in front of everybody else in the South Coast Conference standings.

“If we win three more, I think we win conference, so I feel pretty good about that,” said Thomas.

No. 1 Demetrius Thomas looks to throw down a vicious dunk. He finished the game with a team-high 24 points, on 10-10 from the FT line. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

He had his ninth 20-plus point game and forth in his last six games, as Thomas ended the game with a team-high 24 points.

However, Thomas could have had upwards of 30 points, if it wasn’t for several missed dunks (he was fouled on a couple dunk attempts as well).

There was one specific dunk that enraged associate head coach Tito Ortiz, the Falcons were up two with 34 seconds left and Thomas got out on the break as usual, but he missed the wide-open dunk attempt that would have virtually sealed the game.

Ortiz spoke about that moment, “That play he didn’t have to go for a dunk, just go get two points. It’s not about you right here, in this situation.

“His emotions got into it, he let the crowd get into it, we had a good crowd tonight and if I don’t pull him to the side and refocus him, he’ll continue that emotion thing going,” Ortiz said.

Emotions were evidently high as two players were awarded technical fouls and others were warned by the referees that they would get T’ed up if the arguing persisted between players and with the refs themselves.

The first tech came as No. 5 Jermiah Sadler (LBCC) drew an And-1 on No. 2 Malik Smith and proceeded to flex.

Shortly thereafter, Smith got a defensive stop on Sadler and gave him a flex of his own, causing the refs to issue him a tech as well for the taunt.

There were also a total of 45 personal fouls called between the two teams, as the game got very chippy and physical as time elapsed.

The entire game against LBCC can be watched here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/H10jwpvMLf4

Also, here are tweets from the game: https://twitter.com/talonmarksports/with_replies

The Falcons’ next game is on Friday versus El Camino College at home.

The last time they played El Camino was on Jan. 17, it was a high scoring game ending with the Falcons winning 117-100, for its second win on this current six game winning streak.

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About the Contributors
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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Falcons men’s basketball goes down to the wire in 87-83 win vs Long Beach City College