Eagles Win Two, Fall in Final of Hoops and Crops Tourney

The MSJC men's basketball team made two dramatic comebacks to reach the finals of the Kiwanis Hoops and Crops Tournament, but came up a little short on Saturday in the title game.DavidThompsonforLionsClub-17.jpg

The Eagles started the tournament Thursday with 21 point comeback victory over state #4 ranked Santiago Canyon 89-86.  MSJC fell behind 51-37 at halftime, but some timely shooting and great defense allowed them to set up a game winning shot by David Thompson as time expired.  The Eagles led by two with 3 seconds left, but a pair of free throws by the Hawks set up the last shot.  MSJC with no time outs had to go the length of the floor and Thompson took two dribbles got just across the mid-court line and drained a 40 foot jumper for the win.  Thompson finished the game with 24 points, he also had 4 assists.  Davon Sanders led the MSJC offense with 33 points, 17 of them coming in the second half.  A.J. Walton was also instrumental in the win with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.

Friday the Eagles took on Copper Mountain who came into the contest ranked 9th in the state, and won with another second half comeback 75-74.  MSJC this time trailed by 8 at the half before coming back late, finally taking the lead with a Thompson lay-up with 2:24 to play to go ahead 68-67.  The Eagles then pushed the lead to 4 when Thompson made another lay-up and was fouled to earn a three point play with 1:05 remaining in the game.  MSJC then held on down the stretch as Walton and Sanders each hit two free throws to preserve the victory.  Sanders led the Eagles in scoring with 16.  Thompson finished with 15 and 5 assists while Terrance Williams also reached double figures with 13.

In Saturday's championship game MSJC had a rough afternoon shooting as they went just 20 for 73 from the field as they came up short against Chaffey 70-55.  This time the Eagles found a way to stay in the game in the first half trailing just 30-26 at the break, but their poor shooting caught up to them in the second.  Thompson once again led the way with 16 points while Walton had 12 and Sanders 11.

The Eagles are now 5-7 on the season and will return to action on Thursday at the Riverside City College Holiday Tournament.  MSJC opens with a 1 pm game on Thursday against another state ranked team when they take on East Los Angeles.

MSJC's David Thompson had three strong games for the Eagles during the 4th Annual Hemet Valley Kiwanis Hoops and Crops Tournament, including draining a game winning 40 foot jump shot on Thursday night to defeat #4 ranked Santiago Canyon.  MSJC won 2 games on their way to the championship game before falling in the finals to Chaffey.  (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC)