City College men win postseason opener

Knights get past Long Beach City College to advance to the third round of the Southern California regional


San Diego City College center Drew Cisse (left) matches up against Long Beach City forward Christian St. James (right) in the second round playoff opener. San Diego City Knights photo

Antonio Contreras, Multimedia Journalist

The fourth-ranked San Diego City College men’s basketball team is moving on to the third round of the Southern California Regional after a dominant performance over No. 20 Long Beach City College, 88-72, on March 3.

City (26-3) have now won 17 in a row and will host No. 21 MiraCosta (16-14) in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game on Saturday, March 5 at Harry West Gymnasium.

The Spartans (16-14) upset host No. 5 Santiago Canyon (22-5), 84-74, in their second-round game on March 3.

City’s offense was nearly unstoppable early on, shooting 73% in the first half compared to Long Beach City’s 35.5% and leading by as many as 23 points.

All five starters for the Knights scored in double figures. Knights guard Makiah Morris led the way offensively with 19 points, while center Drew Cisse brought down a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with his eleven points.

Jonathan Ogugua and Josh Williams added 13 points each along with 11 from Anthony Howell.

A late surge by Long Beach City’s Kameron Mayhan and Bonard Johnson Jr. gave the Vikings life in the second half. The Vikings cut the Knights’ lead to 49-60 in the first three minutes.

But City went on a 15-6 run to extend its lead back to as many as 20 points. The Vikings did make another run to get within 13 points with 4:40 left but they missed three straight jump shots. Ogugua later hit a jumper and Cisse got a steal which led to a fast break dunk close to the game.

The 16-point victory was the Knight’s 14 by double digits in their last 17 games, with an average margin of 24.

City’s third-round matchup with MiraCosta will be the fourth time the Knights have faced the Spartans this season.

All games ended with a City victory, and two of three were decided by only two points, while a third was a 33-point blowout on Jan. 19.

The winner of Saturday’s game, which will be live-streamed on the Knight’s YouTube channel, will advance to the California Community College Athletic Association state championship quarterfinals, which will be held at West Hills College in Lemoore from March 11-13.