Men’s basketball continues to roll, extending win streak to nine

No.+14+Keshaun+Mack+leaps+for+a+powerful+dunk+attempt.+Mack+finished+the+game+with+14+points+and+four+made+threes.+

TM Carlos Ruiz

No. 14 Keshaun Mack leaps for a powerful dunk attempt. Mack finished the game with 14 points and four made threes.

Jah-Tosh Baruti

Cerritos College men’s basketball squad remains victorious over its last nine games with an 81-57 win over L.A. Southwest College on Feb. 9.

The team is now 8-0 in South Coast Conference matches.

The Falcons lead by 10 points at the halftime mark. However, it was a back and forth game for much of the first half.

Head coach of the men’s basketball team, Russ May said, “We played hard today…I thought L.A. Southwest played really well tonight too and [I’m] just happy to walk out here with a victory.”

In the second half of the game the Falcons took control of the game, outscoring L.A. Southwest by 14 points in the final half.

May spoke on the halftime adjustments that lead to expanding on the lead, “We just wanted to get the ball inside a little bit more, take better shots and defensively try to limit their penetration a little bit better, so I think we did a good job of that.”

The team shot 55 percent from the field, on its ways to another high scoring game on the season.

The Falcons average slightly over 80 points per game this season.

In No. 14 Keshaun Mack’s second game back from injury, he had a line of 14 points, five rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes of gameplay.

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What goes up, must come down. No. 14 Keshaun Mack landing after a monstrous dunk attempt. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Mack also made four three pointers in the game, only missing one three point attempt.

He talked about getting a second game under his belt from injury, saying, “I had a cool performance, shot it pretty well from the field, I had a couple rebounds, my assists, I didn’t have that many assists tonight, but I played pretty good tonight.”

Mack shared that at the next level he wants to play as the point guard.

“Tonight if Malik [Smith] would have fouled out, I would’ve told him, coach [May] I’m your man tonight,” Mack said with a smile.

No. 21 Jonathan Guzman had another solid outing, notching 15 points, four rebounds and three assists, in 24 minutes of on the court action.

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No. 21 Jonathan Guzman dunks it home. Guzman connected on 7-8 of his field goal attempts, in route to a 15 point outing. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Guzman said of his performance, “I felt like I played decent, I feel like I could’ve played better, but like I always say I’m glad that we won, that’s the most important thing.”

He spoke about the areas in which he can improve in, saying, “just being more assertive, I tend to pass the ball a lot—I act as if I’m a point guard, but I honestly felt I should’ve been more assertive—I was assertive enough to where my presence was felt.”

Guzman got the start in this game.

During one point in the game, he was helped off the court with an injury.

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"I went up for an offensive rebound and I got poked in the eye..I’m fine. It wasn’t deep of a cut. I would have to break something for me not to play, other than that I’m gonna play," Guzman said. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Later, he talked about the injury that took him out of the game for a period of time, “I went up for an offensive rebound and I got poked in the eye—I had to sit, I had to just get to the floor man, because it hurt a lot, but after I felt like it wasn’t too bad I wanted to play again.”

He added, “I’m fine. It wasn’t deep of a cut. I would have to break something for me not to play, other than that I’m gonna play,” said Guzman.

The Falcons limited L.A. Southwest to only one played scoring over double figures, with 10 points.

Cerritos, however, had three players score in double digits, Mack, 14; Guzman, 15 and No. 1 Demetrius Thomas had 19 points, respectively.

No. 2 Malik Smith (TalonMarks) said what gets the team going is ”Defense leading to offense, I always take pride in my defense, Malik said.

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No. 2 Malik Smith guarding the ball. Smith had two steals in the game leading to fast break points. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Smith talked about his approach leading the break, saying, “I just pay attention and read what my defender is doing, if he starts backing up, I’m going to keep going until he stops me.

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No. 2 Malik Smith goes up for the layup. He was able to create offense from defense throughout the game with a couple of steals.

“—if he takes away the pass, I’m going to go up for a layup—if he stops me, I’m going to bounce pass it to my teammates, just making the right read,” said Smith.

Smith had six points, seven assists and four rebounds, to go along with two steals.

The men’s basketball team plays its final regular season home game on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

There are only two games remaining on the team’s regular season list.

May concluded, by explaining what the team is going to focus on going, “We want to clean up defensively, work a little bit harder on staying in front and helping each other on defense—and you know what, we’re going to do that.”

He said the team will accomplish its goals by “a lot of practice and film work.”