Notes From The Editor: Congrats to both the Men’s and Women’s teams and their hard-working and dedicated Coaching Staffs for making their “Dreams Come True” as they are now headed to the “Final Four” of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship round this Friday through Sunday at Cerritos Community College. It’s extremely rare that two teams from the same college make the Final Four together, but needless to say, these student-players/coaches are history-makers as they take their game to the highest level ever in ELAC’s long and proud athletic program. They’re on the elevator of success and they’re now going all the way to the top!!
Also, huge congrats to Al Cone, ELAC’s Atheltic Director and his very devoted staff on campus. They’ve certainly made coming to the “E-Arena” a great fan and spectator experience as well as a most appreciated playing venue for its athletes to display their skills and abilities. We also take a moment to tip our hat to Mario Villegas, an ELAC alumnus and current volunteer sports information specialist with the college. Without his time and attention to providing us with updates, press releases, and necessary information about the teams and players, our mission here at East L.A. Sports Scene would not be possible to accomplish.
The Final Four pairings are now set and the “Lady Huskies” will play at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14th versus the Chabot College “Lady Gladiators” from the city of Hayward in Northern California. The Men will meet the Merritt College “Thunderbirds” from Oakland, CA. on Friday night at 5 p.m. For more information on all South Coast Conference (SCC) teams, go to CCCAASports.org. Rico Cabrera, Sr./Editor, EastLASportsScene.Com.
Next Up For Women: Final Four Game At Cerritos College, vs. Chabot College, Saturday, March 14th, 5 p.m. Tip-off.
Next Up For Men: Final Four Game At Cerritos College vs. Merritt College, March 13th, 5 p.m. Tip-off.
Credits: Al Cone, ELAC Athletic Director, Press Releases; Mario Villegas, ELAC Volunteer, Athletics Department, Photo Gallery; Sarai Trinidad, Sarai Trinidad Photography, Team Photo; Erik Sarni, Photo Gallery.
Here are the official ELAC Athletic Department Press Releases for both the Women’s and Men’s Elite Eight victories on Saturday, March 7th.
March 11, 2015/Press Release
Women’s Basketball Reaches State Final 4
Huskies (29-3) Faces Chabot (29-3) in CCCAA Tourney Semifinal
(MONTEREY PARK, CA) – The impressive run through the playoffs continues for the East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team as the Huskies head to the California Community College Athletic Association Championship Tournament for the first time in the history of the college.
In a matchup of teams with identical records, ELAC (29-3), the second seed from Southern California, will play Chabot College (29-3), the North’s top seed, in a semifinal game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cerritos College.The winner will advance to Sunday’s championship game at 3 p.m. to play either Mt. San Antonio College (33-0), the top seed from the South, or North No. 2 San Joaquin Delta College (27-5), who play in a semifinal at 7 p.m. Saturday.
In scoring a college-record 29 victories, ELAC has been led by the outstanding guard tandem of Olivia Ochoa and Kyla Martin-Burnley.Ochoa, a freshman from Roosevelt High School, is averaging a team-leading 16.3 points per game, and 4.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. Martin-Burnley averages 15.1 points, 2.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Up front, the Huskies are led by Jocelyne Diaz, a sophomore forward from Whittier High School, who is averaging 14.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Martin-Burnley is coming off her biggest game of the season in which she scored 24 points in ELAC’s 75-62 victory over Irvine Valley last Saturday to send the Huskies to the final four. She was a perfect 10-for-10 shooting from the floor, including a three-pointer, and had seven rebounds.
Ochoa had an excellent all-around performance, scoring 12 points to go with six assists, five rebounds and four steals. Diaz also put in 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. The Huskies got another outstanding effort off the bench from freshman forward Abigail Vasquez, who scored 15 points and had five rebounds, two assists and a steal, and scrappy freshman guard Vianey Chavez, who had six points and played tenacious defense.
The play of Vasquez, a former All-City player at Wilson High School, and Chavez was key in leading the Huskies back from an early 11-2 deficit.“Abby and Vianey got us going and brought us back,” ELAC Coach Bruce Turner said. “They really came through for us.” ELAC held a 33-30 halftime lead and increased it to 46-37 with 12:42 left in the game.
Irvine Valley (27-4), the third seed in the South region brackets, went long distance and Karli Kato’s three-pointer pulled the Lasers to within 48-43 with 10:22 to play. But the Huskies quickly built their lead back up to nine on key baskets and free throws by Martin-Burnley, Diaz, Ochoa and Kimberly Perez (Garfield HS) kept them ahead by as many nine.
Martin-Burnley’s three-pointer with 1:05 remaining extended the Huskies’ advantage to 69-57. It was ELAC’s second victory against Irvine Valley this season. The Huskies edged the Lasers, 66-65 in overtime at the Saddleback Tournament Nov. 22. The Lasers were led by center Breanna Turner with 23 points. Kato finished with 11 points and Conerie Brennan added nine.
Besides Irvine Valley, the Huskies, who were seeded second in the South Region, also defeated Antelope Valley College (66-60) and El Camino College (70-56) to advance to the CCCAA championship tournament.
Cerritos College is located at 11110 Alondra Blvd. in Norwalk.
Photo Gallery: Hover to read captions and click once on each photo for an enlarged image.
March 11, 2015/Press Release
Men’s Basketball Going to State Final Four
Huskies Make First-Ever Trip to CCCAA Championship Tourney
(MONTEREY PARK, CA) – East Los Angeles College continues its late season surge as the Huskies will be making their first-ever appearance in the men’s basketball California Community College Athletic Association Championship Tournament this weekend.
ELAC (21-10), the No. 2 seed from Southern California, will play Merritt College (25-6), the top seed from the North, in a state championship semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday at Cerritos College. Our players want to be the best on the court every game and they’ve been just that throughout the playoffs,” said ELAC Coach John Mosley, a former Husky player whose team has won seven straight games and 10 of its last 11. “We have a lot left to do this weekend.”
The winner will advance to Sunday’s championship game at 1 p.m. to play either Saddleback College (31-2), the top seed from the South, or the North’s No. 2 Cañada College (24-6), who will play in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The Huskies have traversed a long and rugged road to the Final Four. They were the 13th seed in the 20-team South playoff brackets and opened the postseason with a play-in victory against Victor Valley College (96-91) at home.
ELAC then went on the road to defeat No. 4 Antelope Valley College (111-106), No. 5 Southwestern College (79-65) and No. 8 Long Beach City College (92-73) to arrive in the CCCAA Championship Tournament. In fact, the Huskies were the lowest remaining seed in the state when they took the court Saturday in Long Beach.
Down by one eight minutes into the second half, ELAC broke open a tight game with the Vikings by going on a 15-2 scoring run that was ignited by Marquis Salmon’s three-pointer off a pass from Miles Ford. A jump shot by Je’Ron Primus and a three-point play by Richard Bivens gave the Huskies a 67-60 lead. Marcus Romain converted two free throws and hit a jumper, and free throws by Salmon and Bivens increased the margin to 74-62. Long Beach (23-7) never got any closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
With the victory, the Huskies avenged a 74-71 loss to Long Beach, a South Coast Conference South Division rival, in a Jan. 22 conference cross-over game. “We’ve been very resilient and very relentless,” Mosley said. “We’re playing very good basketball right now.”
Primus, a sophomore guard from Westchester High School, and Romain, who is from New York and attended Progressive Christian Academy in Maryland, scored 20 points each to lead the Huskies. Primus was a perfect 10 for 10 at the free throw line and Romain recorded four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Salmon, a 6-7 freshman forward from Village Christian High, added 19 points and had six rebounds. Sophomore guard Te’Shon Burton, a product of Leuzinger High, and Richard Bivens, a freshman forward from Bakersfield’s Ridgeview High, came off the bench to contribute eight points each.
Sophomore forward Primitivo Gomez (Arroyo HS) and Ford (Alhambra HS), a freshman guard, added seven points each. ELAC’s success on the road should come as no surprise since the Huskies have played only seven of 30 their games at home. The Huskies are 62-27 during Mosley’s three seasons at ELAC. They’ve reached the playoffs each season and won the South Coast Conference North championship in 2014, the college’s first title in 42 years. Merritt is the second place team from the Bay Valley Conference. The Thunderbirds defeated Lassen College (70-64), City College of San Francisco (110-75) and Foothill College (62-50) in the North Division playoffs to reach the CCCAA Championship Tournament.
Cerritos College is located at 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk.