Coming off a 21-point win on the opening night of the annual Mountie Classic, the Mt. SAC men’s basketball team went into their second matchup on Saturday, Dec. 3, against the Orange Coast Pirates with a full head of steam.
The Mounties wasted no time in putting on a show, as sophomore point guard Corey Grant immediately dished it to the 6’9” freshman Minfeke Sanoe for an easy alley-oop on the first possession of the game. Orange Coast, however, would not let the early highlight affect them as they took the lead just as quickly. The Mounties were constantly threatening in the first half, however, the Pirates were able to keep them at bay as they went into halftime with a 25-23 lead over the Mounties.
The second half showed more of the same story, however Mt. SAC’s fortunes had seemingly changed when freshman guard Marc Howard Jr. nailed a three with 8 minutes to go to give the Mounties a 42-39 lead, their first in the game.
Orange Coast, however, would just not go away. The Pirates capitalized on some key turnovers by the Mounties and were able to reclaim a one-point lead with little over 4 minutes left.
The Mounties themselves also refused to go down as sophomore guard Darrell Williams also hit a clutch three to take a 48-46 lead with 3:39 left in the game.
Once again though, the Pirates kept hanging around just long enough. With less than 50 seconds to go, Orange Coast’s Joshua Davis drove through the lane and hit a difficult layup to take a late 51-50 lead.
With 7 seconds left, a glimmer of hope appeared for Mt. SAC. They were down 52-50, and Corey Grant had been fouled and sent to the line, giving the Mounties their best chance to tie it up. Grant hit one of the two free throws, which cut Orange Coast’s lead down to one point with 7 ticks left on the clock.
There would be no such comeback, however, the Pirates also ended up hitting another free throw to extend their lead, which forced Grant to throw up a half-court hail mary as time expired. The Orange Coast Pirates prevailed over the Mt. SAC Mounties by a score of 53-51.
Evan Council and Darrell Williams led the Mounties in scoring with 11 points each; Council also had 3 steals in the game. Corey Grant led the team in both rebounds and assists as he put up 6 boards and dropped 4 assists in addition to his 8 points and 3 steals. Marc Howard Jr. led the team in steals with 4, and also put up a stat line of 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
On Sunday, Dec. 3 the Mounties finished up the Classic with a game against the Cerritos College Falcons. The tip-off was at 4 pm.