Though Pierce pride was high for the men’s basketball team, Pasadena City College won the opening game at Hutto-Patterson gym in PCC Monday night, 71-61
Coming off last season with a 16-12 score during the Western State Conference (WSC), the team made the playoffs for the first time since 1983, according to information on the Athletics’ website.
Head coach Ed Babayan hoped that success would follow them this season, with returning sophomore players Jeremy White, Tarrance Taylor, and Ryan Rubino.
“Last year we made history, this year it’s this teams’ responsibility to make it tradition,” said Babayan.
The Brahmas held court during the first half with a score of 38-35, leaving the Lancers trailing behind.
White worked with the team including freshman point guard Josh Reveles to score a three pointer minutes into the game.
The ball traveled the court but the first half was dominated by the Brahmas with the Lancers relying on foul shots to try to catch up.
Sophomore point guard Torey Phillips, still recovering from an ankle injury, shot the final point for the first half pumping the team up for the second half.
Little did they know that the Lancers would bring it full force with a determination to offset the initial poor game playing
Sophomore Guard Shawn Hampton brought the Lancers back into the game with a fierce and seemingly unstoppable momentum that would continue to build throughout the game.
With a game total of 27 points and ten rebounds, Hampton’s home glory could be heard as the crowds continued to cheer.
“We played hard, it was hard the first half but we picked it up on the defense,” said Hampton. “We did what coach wanted us to do which was to win.”
Poor ball handling and turnovers lead to bad passing during the second half, which cost the Brahmas their lead.
White, who scored a game total of 15 points, admits poor communication among team members lead to the sudden downturn.
“Turnovers really killed us it was our first game playing together, we jelling each game it its going take us some time to get together and cut down on our turnovers,” said White.
Babayan, who nervously watched as the team began to flounder, bluntly spoke to the team during the 30-second break about the lack of heart put into the game.
“That is our cornerstone, that’s our foundation, that’s everything,” said Babayan. “We’re not about flashy and showy we’re about [being] tough and smart, unselfish, relentless and we just didn’t do those things today.”
Each shot from the Brahmas ignited the collective resounding shouts of “defense” from the crowd, who still retained lingering hopes of a sweeping recovery.
“We really relied on our defense to give us a lot of opportunities and today our defense really let us down,” said Babayan.
Though both teams enjoyed high and low points, the coach for the Lancers admits even their skills weren’t up to par.
“We made some mistakes on the first half but we made up for it in the second half,” said PCC head coach Mike Swanegan. “We’ll take a win any way we can get it.”
Next the Brahmas will play in the San Diego tournament, Nov. 12-14 in San Diego.
Babayan has no doubts that the Brahmas will bring their A-game for the next round.
“They’re going to understand what it takes to play for us and how they need to play for them to play the right way for Pierce College,” he said.