ELAC Men’s Basketball Wins Conference Title, Earns 2nd Seed in Southern California Playoffs

East Los Angeles College forward Babacar Thiombane (23) grabs a rebound in the Huskies’ 89-67 victory over L.A. Trade Tech.
East Los Angeles College forward Babacar Thiombane (23) grabs a rebound in the Huskies’ 89-67 victory over L.A. Trade Tech.

The South Coast Conference North Division champion East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team earned the second seed in the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional playoffs.

The Huskies, who are 24-4 overall, have a first-round bye and will play either San Diego City or Santa Monica in a quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (March 2) at ELAC. San Diego (16-12) and No. 15 Santa Monica (17-11) meet in a first round game tonight (Feb. 27) at Santa Monica.

“I thought it was fitting that we were seeded second since our conference had the highest RPI (rating percentage index) rating in the state,” ELAC Coach John Mosley said. “The South Coast Conference is well represented in the playoffs with four teams among the top six seeds.”

The No. 2 seed ensures that the Huskies will play two home playoff games and home has been sweet for the Huskies, who are unbeaten (9-0) on their own court. Moreover, they have won 17 of their last 18 games.

Alec Hickman scored 20 points and was one of five Huskies to score in double figures in ELAC’s 89-67 victory over L.A. Trade Tech last Friday, as the Huskies won the South Coast Conference North Division championship outright.

The win kept ELAC ahead of Chaffey in the final conference standings with a 9-1 record. Chaffey finished 8-2 and was awarded the fourth seed in the playoffs.

The Huskies extended their own school record for consecutive titles by winning it for the fourth straight time. ELAC has won five conference championships in Mosley’s seven seasons as coach. They finished second the other two seasons.

Hickman, a sophomore guard from JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, added six rebounds and four assists in leading the Huskies past Trade Tech (17-10, 3-7).

Levelle Zeigler (Oakland Ridgeview HS) also had a big night for ELAC with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Guard Darius Henderson (Woodland Hills Taft HS) scored 13 points to go along with his five assists and three steals. Forward Babacar Thiombane (Fairfax HS) had a team-high eight rebounds and four steals, and added 10 points.

Forward Rodney Agee (Victorville Silverado HS) came off the bench to chip in 11 points and three rebounds. Guard Deshaun Highler (Riverside JW North HS) finished with eight points, four rebounds and two assists.

Story and Photo by Mario Villegas

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