The MSJC men's basketball team had five players reach double figures in scoring on Saturday night, but it wasn't enough as they lost on the road to San Bernardino Valley 91-80 in the Southern California Regional Finals.
The Eagles started the game strong as they jumped out to a 13-6 lead and seemed to take control early. The Wolverines worked their way back into the game over the next 15 minutes and the two teams went into the halftime break tied at 36 a piece.
San Bernardino would take the lead for good with 16:28 to go in the game when Foothill Conference MVP Gerry Blakes scored 2 of his game high 25 points on a lay-up. The Wolverines built the lead to as much as 12 over the next 10 minutes, but MSJC was not done. The Eagles clawed their way back into the game with some big three point shots from Carlos McCormick, Sam Williams, and Danny Hopkins and when Dajuan Smith scored on a lay-up with just over 5 minutes left to play MSJC was back within 2 at 72-70. The Eagles comeback unfortunately stalled out there when Charles Callsion made a three pointer for SBVC and then a steal and lay-up by the Wolverines pushed the lead back up to 8. MSJC could make it no closer than 7 after that.
Smith finished the night leading the Eagles offense with 17 points. Williams had 15, McCormick 14, Dwayne Benjamin had 13 and 5 assists, while Hopkins finished with 11 points. Mark Ware kept the Eagles in it with his work on the boards and finished his Eagle career with 7 points and a team high 9 rebounds.
The Eagles finish the season with a record of 25-5, they were the champions of the PCAC North Division and advanced to the State Final Eight for the second time in four years. SBVC advanced to the State Final Four with the win and will play Chabot on Saturday. Santa Rosa and Chaffey will play in the other State Semi-Final.
Mt. San Jacinto College sophomore Mark Ware scores through the heavy defense of San Bernardino Valley College. Eagles lost the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regionals 91-80 Saturday at San Bernardino. (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC)