Warriors men’s basketball sets the tone against Barstow


From left to right: Alexis Maria, Casey Cook, Dwayne Moore, Mattias Sjolin and Mo Cruz share a celebratory victory pose after winning against Barstow College (110-69). The Warriors, now 6-2 overall, will face off against College of the Desert on Dec. 1. (Khoury Williams | The Union)

The confidence, chemistry and camaraderie could be felt throughout the El Camino College Gym Complex on Wednesday, Nov. 23, as the El Camino Warriors glided across the court almost seamlessly in a 110-69 victory against the Barstow College Vikings.

After a halt to their win streak against San Diego Mesa, the Warriors came back hungry for victory. The Warriors have been 1-1 since their first loss of the season, defeating Grossmont Friday, but falling short the next day to Southwestern 76-69.

With their best start to the season since 2016-2017, consistency is vital as the Warriors maintained as much as a 20-point lead toward the end of the first half.

Sophomore guard Gabe Hubbard posted 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Adding to the board, Alexis Maria totaled 17 points, Billy Ray Barnes III with 15, Mattias Sjolin scored 12, and Elliot Kerley with 10 points.

Sophomore guard Gabe Hubbard makes a layup shot, taking the game’s score to 34-18 with the Warriors leading near the end of the first half. Hubbard would go on to achieve the highest score of the night with 20 points total. (Khoury Williams | The Union)

Coach Robert Uphoff echoed the sentiment that teamwork is a part of the team’s success.

“We have a really good team that has really good chemistry and good culture,” Uphoff said.

Sophomore guard Gabe Hubbard shares a handshake with one of his teammates after stepping onto the court in preparation for his game against Barstow College. Hubbard would go on to achieve the highest score of the night with 20 points total. (Khoury Williams | The Union)

Despite the dominance on the court, Uphoff would like to see improvements on defense.

“We’re still turning the ball over way too often, and then the other is defensively we’ve been pretty solid, but we have a high expectation that we want to be the staple of our program,” Uphoff said.

Coach Robert Uphoff greets freshman guard Miguel Javier with a high-five as he exits the locker room to join the Warriors’ pre-game rally. Uphoff praised the Warriors’ teamwork after winning 110-69 against Barstow College. (Khoury Williams | The Union).

Barnes also wants to maintain consistency while maintaining the trust that the Warriors have in each other.

“We got a tough road ahead of us and it gets harder as we go,” Barnes said. “So to be consistent against good teams and better teams, to show that you know, we’re nothing to play with this year.”

With a 47-26 lead in the first half, the second half left little to the imagination as the Warriors maintained their lead, bringing in sophomore guard Fafa Lu, who floated a few three-pointers and free throws in the last few minutes.

The New Zealand native credits the welcoming energy of the team as he reflected on his performance.

Barstow Vikings’ forward Adrian Gonzalez makes a layup shot during the last 7 minutes of the first half, taking the game to 26-18 with the Warriors leading. After winning against Barstow College (110-69), the Warriors are 6-2 overall while Barstow is now 0-8. (Khoury Williams | The Union).

“As soon as I arrived, the best thing that I’ve ever seen is just the culture. There has been no other program I’ve been within the world that has a coach like this,” Lu said. ”Such a phenomenal, you know family relation, and just every day seeing each other and supporting each other throughout our ups and down.”

The energy was sullen on the opposite side as Vikings coach Gerry Wright recalls the evening.

The Warriors join together in a pre-game rally to hype themselves up heading into their game against Barstow College. El Camino would go on to win 110-69 against Barstow and will be heading to Palm Desert for their next game against College of the Desert on Dec. 1. (Khoury Williams | The Union)

“There are no more victories. You know, we played that, and, you know, at some point a team just has to recognize you are what your record says you are,” Wright said. “We’re 0-8, that was pretty bad, and we look like a 0-8 team.”

The Warriors head to Palm Desert to face an 0-5 College of the Desert on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.


Editor’s Notes:

  • Added photos on Nov. 25 at 11:36 p.m. 
  • Edited photo sizing on Nov. 28 at 1: 49 p.m.