The Allan Hancock College men's basketball team will look to continue their winning ways in the new year. The Bulldogs, who are 8-9 overall, will head to Cuesta College for a three-day tournament that runs from January 6-8. The Bulldogs will open Friday against East Los Angeles at 3 p.m. Following the tournament, Hancock will open Western State Conference play the following week.
Hancock is coming off a championship run at its own Holiday Classic. The Bulldogs defeated Palomar 66-62 in the championship game behind 14 points and seven assists from freshman Nolan Willett. He was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line to help seal the win. Freshman forward Marc Fabricius added 13 points and seven rebounds in the title game. Hancock won the Holiday Classic for the 15th time in the tournament's 52-year history, and for the first time since 2011. Freshman forward Erik Kinnebrew was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after he averaged 10 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5 assists over the weekend. He recorded a double-double in the semifinals with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds. Troy Bolden was named to the All-Tournament Team, after he averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds during the three-day tournament. He recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's overtime win against Cerro Coso. Willett had 10 points and 10 assists against Cerro Coso.
East Los Angeles is 9-4 overall. Forward Roderick Williams leads the team with 17.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Williams is one of five players averaging 10 or more points. Guards Chandler Redix (11.4 ppg, 46.2 3 pct.), Frank Bertz (10.4 ppg, 44.4 3 pct.) and Sequan Walker (10.8 ppg, 39.5 3 pct.) provide East LA with three outside threats.
Hancock will face San Diego Mesa on January 7, at 3 p.m. San Diego Mesa is off to a 3-11 start. Center Armstrong Ojunkwu is the team's top scorer at 18.5 points per game. He is shooting 57 percent from the field and averaging 9.2 rebounds. Guard Kajahn Patton is averaging 8.6 points, and shooting 54.5 percent from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs will close the tournament on January 8, against El Camino, which is off to a 7-4 start and averaging 97 points per game. Freshman Jamal Heckard is the team's leading scorer at 18.8 points to go with 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Guard Martyre Demarco averages 11.5 points and is shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range.