It was a playoff basketball atmosphere Saturday, as recently ranked #10 Hancock College lost a close one to the #8 team Cerritos College 61-68.
It was evident that this would be a grind-it-out game from jump ball. Both teams held each other scoreless for the first 3 minutes of the match.
The Bulldogs scored their first field-goal at the 12:50 mark of the first half, the score then was just 4-6.
It would continue to be a low-scoring game throughout the first half. Freshman guard, Mike Mensah came off the bench to score 7 straight points for the Bulldogs. But the Bulldogs still trailed 27-31 at halftime.
At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs came out more aggressive, attacking the hoop with purpose. Sophomore forward Spirit Ricks opened up with two strong moves to the basket to tie the score 31-31.
The swarming full-court press by Hancock forced Cerritos into a number of turnovers, highlighted by a monstrous put-back dunk by sophomore forward JT Riddick. The Bulldogs led by 4 with just over 9 mins remaining.
There were five lead changes in the final minutes but missed opportunities by the Bulldogs and made free-throws by Cerritos sealed the deal. The Bulldogs fell short, losing by a final of 61-68.
The Bulldogs now stand at 7-2 and travel to Los Angeles for the L.A. Southwest Classic Dec. 13-15.