One way to look at Wednesday's 82-75 loss to visiting LA Trade Tech was to view it as just another defeat in a tough 5-13 start thus far for the Pasadena City College men's basketball team. Yet the Lancers, playing without three key players, found some of their bench players contributing their best performances this season in the South Coast Conference North Division opener at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
PCC trailed by as much as 21 points, 55-34, but kept the heat on later in the game and battled back to make it respectable. Trade Tech (10-8) was led by Antonio Singleton with 17 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and four steals and Leroy Jones who added 18 points.
The Lancers played without leading scorer/rebounder McKay Anderson, Todd Barnes and Skyler Williams. With sophomore guard Dejon Williams doing his part on a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds and eight assists, the team outscored Trade Tech, 41-27, over the game's final 14 minutes.
Guard Eris Winder scored 14 points with seven rebounds. Off the bench, two players who had not received much playing time this year came up big. Guard Jacob Lomeli hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with his season-high 10 points, most at the end of the first half. Forward Levi James dazzled on the offensive boards (eight) and reached a double-double on 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Starting forward Justus Tucker chipped in seven points and 10 rebounds while guard Will Johnson added four points, four assists and two steals. Seldom-used forward Damien Flores contributed four points. The Lancers finished with a season-high 51 rebounds.
Williams climbed to No. 48 on PCC's all-time scoring list at 632 career points. Next on the iist at 635 is legendary PCC Hall of Famer John Trapp, the MVP of the 1967 state champion Lancers team under Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Tarkanian. Trapp though scored all of his points in his one season at the college.
PCC will try to break a 4-game losing streak on Friday as it visits Mt. San Antonio College for a 5 p.m. conference tip-off.