ECC men’s basketball team’s offensive struggles continue in loss to Fullerton College


El Camino College men’s basketball guard Corey Maddison passes the ball to ECC teammate Darrian Williams-Youngblood during the game against San Diego Mesa on Friday, Nov. 8 at ECC North Gymnasium. The Warriors lost to Fullerton College 71-52 on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at ECC North Gym. David Odusanya/The Union

The winless El Camino College men’s basketball team’s offensive woes continued on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the ECC North Gymnasium against the defending California Community College Athletic Association State Champions, the Fullerton College Hornets.

The Warriors’ (0-4) defense made it a competitive game from the start by keeping the Hornets (4-0) out of the paint. However, Fullerton College quickly found its perimeter shot as they began to light it up from beyond the arc to win the game 71-52.

ECC’s offense struggled in the first half shooting just 9-for-23 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.

“[The game plan] was that we need to have a mindset to not look at the scoreboard. I need [the team] to focus on us getting better because that’s our number one goal every day.” Warriors’ coach Robert Uphoff said. “Defensively I was actually really proud of the effort, but we did have some major breakdowns with the [three-pointer].”

Fullerton College continued its hot start to the season offensively shooting 14-for-31 from the field while making 10-of-20 from behind the three-point line in the first half.

The Hornets’ offense proved to be too much for ECC as they built on their 38-23 lead at halftime coming out with a strong defensive intensity in the second half to help secure the victory.

“Tonight it was tough to play against [ECC] because they play so hard,” Hornets coach McKay Lasalle said. “But overall it’s kind of our game plan playing inside-out sharing the ball and getting good shots every time down.”

Fullerton guard Tawon Elson led the offense off the bench scoring a game-high 21 points on 7-for-17 shooting and 5-for-10 from the three-point line while dishing out six assists. Hornets’ forward Ronnie Stapp and guard Omajae Smith also added 14 and 12 points respectively for the Hornets.

Warriors’ freshman guard Darrian Williams-Youngblood led ECC in scoring coming off the bench with 17 points on 8-for-15 shooting while grabbing six rebounds and two steals.

“I felt like I had to come off the bench with a good push because we haven’t got any bench scoring in the last couple of games,” Williams-Youngblood said. “Were undersize for the most part and we have to get adjusted to that. Just boxing out every possession and remember our principles on every possession even if we’re down or up.”

Warriors’ leading scorer Jamal Howard continued his strong start offensively for ECC by scoring 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting while adding five rebounds and four steals. Jason Vasquez contributed 12 points with three rebounds and three assists for the Warriors.

ECC will hope to turn its season around when it hosts a non-conference matchup against the Santa Ana College Dons (0-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, in the North Gym.

“[Santa Ana] is not quite as big, they do try to junk it up more,” Uphoff said. “The real major concern even coming off tonight’s issue is that’s back-to-back games for us with 24 turnovers and you’re not going to win too many games against anybody turning it over 24 times, so we’ve got to value the basketball.”