Sixth-ranked Cerritos opens season by winning San Diego Miramar Tourney

Sixth-ranked Cerritos opens season by winning San Diego Miramar Tourney


SAN DIEGO, Calif. - In its first action of the season, the Cerritos College men's basketball team posted three wins to claim the championship of the San Diego Miramar Tournament. The Falcons (3-0), ranked #5 in the pre-season, opened with a 73-66 win over Southwestern College and followed that with a 79-60 victory over MiraCosta College in the semifinals. In the championship game on Saturday, Cerritos defeated the host Jets, 99-98. The team will take a week off before defending their title at the Irvine Valley Tournament.

Cerritos vs. Southwestern: In the win over the Jaguars, the Falcons never trailed, as they broke a 6-6 game by scoring five straight points and eventually led by as many as 12 points. Breaking the early tie was sophomore Demetrius Thomas (Bassick, CT HS/Porterville College), who drained a three-pointer, while sophomore Riley Hamilton (Rancho Verde HS) added a layup. It was a balanced attack by Cerritos, as only two players scored in double figures, led by freshman Cody Wilkes (La Mirada HS), who came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points, which included four three-pointers. Sophomore Jason Carter (View Park HS/Santa Monica College) contributed 13 points and four rebounds, with the versatile Thomas posting seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win. The bench contributed 29 points, with sophomore Malik Smith (Gahr HS) producing seven points and a team-high five assists. Sophomore Jonathan Guzman (Paramount HS) also checked in with eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

Cerritos vs. MiraCosta: Carter was one of five Falcons to post double figures going 8-for-8 from the field and finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. Cerritos trailed 6-0 to start the game, and turned a 12-7 deficit into a 30-19 lead and took a 39-26 advantage into halftime. Sophomore Keshaun Mack (Long Beach Jordan HS/Antelope Valley College) recorded 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals off the bench for the athletic Falcons, with sophomore Riley Hamilton (Rancho Verde HS) stepping into the starting lineup and finished with 13 points. Thomas had another strong all-around game, as he accounted for 12 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals, with freshman Christian Alvis (Whittier Christian HS) netting a pair of three-pointers, en route to 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Cerritos vs. San Diego Miramar: In the tournament championship game, the Falcons opened up an 56-38 lead at the half, but withstood a late rally by the Jets. The lead swelled to 79-58 on an Alvis layup with 10:03 left in the second half, but Miramar received a couple of three-pointers from Blake Selts and Deion Alston scored points in bunches to close the Cerritos lead to 91-88 with  :27 seconds left. Alvis netted a pair of free throws, but when Dallas Haupt converted two free throws with :10 seconds left, it was a 93-91 game. Mack, who earned All-Tournament recognition, hit four consecutive free throws to help finish off the Jets and led the team with 21 points. Thomas, who added 15 points and 13 rebounds, connected on two free throws to close out the scoring. Carter, who earned Most Valuable Player honors, accounted for 17 points and six rebounds.

(Courtesy Cerritos College Athletics)