Falcons win opening game versus Santa Monica 81-71

Jalen+Shores+isolation

Derrick Coleman

Guard Jalen Shores (No.5) Sophomore, took the ball up the court against Santa Monica as his 19 points propelled the Falcons victory 81-71.

Samuel Chacko, Editor-in-Chief

Around 30 people came out to watch the Falcons’ first basketball game against Santa Monica on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. and won a tough fashion with the final score of 81-71.

In the first half, the Falcons built up a 24-14 lead which ended with a 12-6 run from Cerritos and a 30-second time out by Santa Monica.

Throughout the game, when Santa Monia players were picking up Cerritos players, you can hear some of the coaches yelling “let them get up,” and this was the energy they had throughout the game.

However, Santa Monica wasn’t going to get blown out and went on their own 15-12 run to get the game to 36-31, with Cerritos winning.

Forward (No. 20) Jonathan Salazar had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone, leading both teams in rebounds and points.

The Sophomore had around half of the Falcons’ points and rebounds with most of his rebounds coming in the defensive end.

Salazar was the spark plug for Cerritos as he would show emotion with fouls, driving into the lane and talking to his players.

“I know I got to bring it every day because they feed off my energy. I know I have to keep them going and I know if I keep them going, they can keep me going,” he said about his energy.

“And we’re going to just go to war,” Salazar added, “I know they got my back all the way.”

The second half was a tighter game as the Falcons experimented with playing occasional trap defense on the defensive end and pushed the floor.

This was more high paced but Daniel Akitoby (No. 12) for Santa Monica scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half as he fought to close the gap on the Falcons.

Every time Santa Monica inched closer, the Falcons respond back as Sophomore Guards Gorden Boykins and Jalen Shores helped their team secure the victory.

Those two guards sliced through the defense, scoring efficiently on their attempts and scoring multiple and-ones for the Falcons.

“It’s my first college game ever and came out and guarded me extremely tight,” Forward Everett May (No.13), Frosh and head coach’s son, said.

I think that was pretty intense defense for me,” the 6-6 forward added, “But I think offensively [on the stat sheet] you don’t see many points from me but I think that me spreading the floor for my teammates, I did an incredible job of that.”

The first-year forward said that he was able to get his team easy buckets by spreading the floor.

Salazar talked about how he saw that Santa Monica was in the paint too much and talked about how the team spread out to run the coaches’ offense.

As for adjustments, he said that the team needed to work on rebounding and explained that the team is “only getting better” after getting the nerves of the first game is out of the way.

“We had two guys out, two big key pieces that were guys that were going to play major minutes,” May said, “Ventura, we know, has some solid guards that shoot a lot of shots and we have some very good defensive guards.”

“We have Jonathan over here […] who’s a great player, I can shoot the ball pretty well I’d say and we have a lot of pieces and it’ll be very hard to guard us regardless of size,” he added.

The Falcons will be going to Irvine Valley to take Ventura in the “Irvine Valley Classic Game” on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.