March 5, 2004

Men’s Basketball Eliminated After Amazing Regular Season Jaguars Fall Short Of Completing Second Half Comeback

By Shauna Caldwell
SWC Sports Information Officer

During March Madness, talk centers around the 4-12 seed match-up or the 5-13 match-up as possible upset games.

The scenario is not much different at the community college level.

Seeded number five in the Southern California Bracket the Southwestern College men’s basketball team hosted the upset-minded number 12 seed Compton College.

After a tough first half, Compton (5-5, 13-8) was able to fend off the two-time Pacific Coast Conference champions’ comeback attempt to win 79-70 and eliminate Southwestern (12-2, 23-5) from the California Community Colleges Commission on Athletics Basketball Championships last Friday night.

This was the fourteenth straight season Southwestern College, who was ranked 9th in the state, had advanced to the state playoffs and it is the second year in a row they have been eliminated in the first round.

Early in the game, Compton showed Southwestern they were a force to be reckoned with in the paint as they jumped on top of the Jaguars. Towards the end of the half, Southwestern settled into the set and dared Compton to come out and guard them on the perimeter. Southwestern crashed the boards and moved the ball solid in the first half, but they went into the half down four, 35-39.

“Coming into the second half we [SWC] tried to make adjustments against the zone and spread our players out,” said Southwestern College Head Coach John Cosentino.

Southwestern came out strong to start the second half. Chet King, the 2004 Pacific Coast Conference most valuable player, brought Southwestern within three after a three-pointer of his own. However, Compton was consistent with their original game plan and strategy. They continued to make Southwestern work for every basket.

Fast break was the name of the game for Compton as Southwestern struggled to move and control the ball. With 12 minutes and 38 seconds left Southwestern trailed 44-57.

Following a Tremayne Singletary dunk, Southwestern players got a burst of energy and kicked their defensive play up a notch. But they still trailed Compton by 10.

Compton continued to rain on Southwestern’s parade late in the game. That is until sopho-more’s Will Waggoner three-pointer with 8-plus minutes left in the game. Waggoner finished with 16 points.

Singletary racked up two more of his 12 points with another spectacular slam-dunk, but they were still down nine with five minutes to go.

In order to win the game, Southwestern would need to go on a run with three minutes and 57 seconds left. Freshman Kirk Spencer answered the call and delivered with a steal that brought the Jaguars within four points, 67-63. Spencer’s lay-up sent the crowd wild as the momentum seemed to be shifting.

The feeling was short-lived, however. With one minute and 14 seconds left on the clock, trailing by six points, Southwestern was forced to foul in order to keep their playoff dreams alive.

With 43.4 left the Comp-ton bench began to yell out, “It’s a rap.” In the end, Compton completed the 79-70 upset over Southwestern.

After the game Cosentino expressed that he was very proud of his team.

“Despite the loss, being one of sixteen teams to make it to the playoffs is a great accomplishment, we had a great year.”

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