East County Sports

What a finish! Jaguars get huge win

Five On Five: SOuthwestern's Jordan Cook tries to stop MJSC's Deshawn Millington on Saturday.



By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

SAN JACINTO (1-6-2019) – In a battle between two of Southern California’s top-ranked ballclubs, Southwestern College barely survived a massive second-half effort by Mt. San Jacinto College, claiming one of the school’s biggest victories ever in a 102-99 decision in Saturday’s (Jan. 5) Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North-South Challenge.

The Jaguars, rated No. 7 in the Southland by Signal The Light Basketball (since the state CCCAA hasn’t updated the preseason poll over the past two months), saw the No. 2 Eagles rally with 59 points in the second half, then had a chance to force overtime but missed a shot at the buzzer.

Freshman guard Marquavian Stephens registered 13 of his game-best 22 points in the first half, sending the Jags to what seemed to be a comfortable 53-40 lead. But MSJC nearly pulled off an improbable comeback.

Down the stretch, the Eagles dropped 19-of-30 shots (63.3 percent) from inside the arc, quickly trimming the deficit to single digits.  Then needing the late 3-ball, C.J. Hyder hit a triple off an assist by David Thompson with 4 seconds remaining to move within three.

However, simply needing to run out the clock, Southwestern turned over the ball. Israel Farrington registered the steal, but he missed on a long buzzer-beater.

All five starters for Southwestern (11-4) scored in double figures – the others were D.J. Wilson (17), Quincy Ferebee (15), Nathaniel Pearson (15) and Jordan Cooke (11) – while Tyler Simmons added 14 from off the bench.

For Mt. San Jacinto (13-2), the backcourt tandem of David Thompson (22 points) and Deshawn Millington (21) were the top scorers, with neither converting a 3-point goal. From off the bench, Terrell Gray added 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Despite the teams competing in the same conference, both divisions play non-interlocking, divisional schedules, so both could still qualify for postseason play with the loss not adversely hurting the Eagles.

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