ECC men’s basketball team lose home opener to Los Angeles Pierce College


El Camino College men’s basketball guard Corey Madison plays tight defense on Los Angeles Pierce College Dallas Johnsons while fellow Warrior Oshuia Alston encourages him and awaits on the side during the game Wednesday, Nov. 6, at ECC’s North Gym. Jaime Solis/The Union

Intensity was high during the pregame warmups for the El Camino College men’s basketball team’s home opener to start the season as they hosted Pierce College on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the ECC North Gymnasium.

Shouts of “ball, ball, ball!” rang out as practicing defenders sprinted from the baseline to the 3-point line closing out hard and finishing with chair-like defensive slides back to the baseline.

Players displayed coordinated pregame dances and handshakes that ended with the team simultaneously jumping high in the air and landing at the same time.

As both team’s starters were announced there was a change to the Warriors’ starting five.

Freshman guard Corey Madison was not a starter in the previous game but made an impact as the team’s second leading scorer, putting up 13 points off of the bench against Citrus College on Friday, Nov. 1.

“It really doesn’t matter starting or not,” Madison said. “It’s really how much you play and how much you produce while you play.”

Madison came out hot, scoring 14 of the team’s first 18 points and knocking down three 3-pointers during that span.

“I knew that I just wanted to get in and play my game, and help my team get a dub,” Madison said.

Madison and sophomore guard Jamal Howard combined for 43 of the team’s 56 points as ECC lost 71-56. The Warriors’ second of four consecutive home games will be on Friday, Nov. 8, against San Diego Mesa at 7 p.m in the ECC North Gymnasium.

“We had about five mental breakdowns that allowed their top player to get off and hit a couple threes that were just daggers because they were run-starters or run-killers for us,” Warriors coach Robert Uphoff said. “I think we can assure those up pretty easily, but it’s our offense that we got to get going. I thought we were a little too stagnant tonight.”

El Camino College men’s basketball guard Rashon Crutcher defends Los Angeles Pierce College Brahmas’ Donovan Wilson as he attempts to create space during the game Wednesday, Nov. 6, at ECC’s North Gym. Jaime Solis/The Union

Trading turnovers and missed shots early on, the Warriors committed back-to-back turnovers that resulted in L.A. Pierce dunks on the other end. The Brahmas then led 20-18 with just under eight minutes left in the first half.

A few possessions later Madison grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast splitting defenders with a cross between his legs from right to left and into a smooth right-handed layup.

However, L.A. Pierce went on a 10-3 run to end the first half as they led 33-26 over the Warriors.

The second half started like the first for ECC with two turnovers turning into four quick points for The Brahmas.

L.A. Pierce looked as if it was going to take full control of the game with Madison and sophomore guard Jason Vasquez both dealing with foul trouble.

El Camino College men’s basketball guard Jason Vasquez takes a free throw shot as other players from both teams prepare for the rebound during the game against Los Angeles Pierce College on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at ECC’s North Gym. Jaime Solis/The Union

Howard picked up the slack for the Warriors on both sides of the court. He ripped the ball from a Brahmas player and took it full-court for a layup. Howard scored seven quick points prompting a L.A. Pierce timeout.

“I knew that as one of the captains on the team in order to give my team a chance to win I have to be more aggressive offensively,” Howard said. “That was my whole mindset, so that’s why I came out the way I did in the second half.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct attribution mistakes, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 10:12 a.m.