Regardless of the sport or which level it’s played on, typically any game with a championship on the line will be an intense one. Friday night’s regular season finale between Long Beach City College and Southwest LA’s men’s basketball teams certainly broke the mold in that regard. Against an opponent playing an NBA All-Star Game type of defense, the Vikings easily won, 103-86.
The win gives LBCC (24-4, 9-1) at least a share of the conference championship, their first since 2015.
“I just told our kids, don’t make it close, you could wake them up,” said LBCC men’s basketball coach Barry Barnes. “Once we got out to about an 18 point lead we could just do whatever we wanted to do. At halftime I told our guys just don’t get hurt and keep moving the ball.”
Sophomore Jace Bass destroyed LA Southwest with 39 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Bass had 27 points in the first half and said it was obvious he and his teammates were going to be able to do whatever they wanted.
“We’re happy about getting the championship,” said Bass. “The game was weird–they didn’t want to guard me. I feel good about the way we’re playing headed into the state playoffs.”
Matt Wooten had 12 points and eight rebounds and Charles Smith had 11 points. LBCC played 12 players in the game, as Barnes was able to empty the bench.
“I’m happy about how we’re playing, but we need to bring that defensive intensity,” he said. “Right now we know we can score, but we’re giving up too many points the last few games.”
LBCC wraps up the regular season ranked No. 10 in California and will likely host a first-round state playoff game later next week; brackets will be released on Monday.
LBCC Women Win Finale
It wasn’t the season that the LBCC women’s basketball team was hoping for, as they finished sub-.500 with a 13-15 overall record. But the Vikings did end the year on a positive note as they recorded a big 81-51 win over LA Southwest.
LBCC was down to just six players for their season finale, but Southwest had only five, two of whom had fouled out by the end of the game, leaving the Vikings with a 5-on-3 advantage. In truth, the game was decided much earlier as LBCC led by 11 points after the first quarter.
Naomi Winston-Ellis led LBCC with 24 points, backed up by Rosalinda Taosoga’s 20. All five LBCC starters finished in double digits.