The good news for the Pasadena City College men's basketball team was that it was able to play into the final day of all five of its pre-conference tournaments this season thus playing 15 of a possible 15 contests. The not-so-good news was that PCC lost the opener in all five tourneys and went 2-3 in consolation title finals.
The Lancers (8-8 overall) let a 9-point halftime lead slip away in a consolation final loss to Allan Hancock, 74-65, to conclude the Cuesta College Hinson Tire Pros Winter Classic Jan. 5-7. PCC settled for sixth place for the third time in 2017-18.
Tied for the best record in the Western State Conference North Division, Hancock (12-7) outscored PCC, 43-25, in a turnaround second half. Frosh guard Ross Lee has emerged as an offensive threat for the Lancers going into the new year as he scored a game-high 20 points. Lee buried four 3-pointers while adding five rebounds. Freshman guard Anthony Evans added 15 points while sophomore transfer guard Kyle Mitchell was limited to just six points while grabbing eight rebounds (letterman center Augustine Tadale also had eight boards and two points).
Mitchell made 10-of-14 shots from the floor as part of his 24 points in PCC's consolation semifinal rout over Santa Barbara City College, 82-56. Also scoring in double digits for PCC were first-year guard Justin Brown with 14 points, including four treys, and two other freshmen guards, Jordan Jones and Josiah Woods, each with 10 points. The Lancers shot 52 percent from the field, making 31-for-60. The win allowed the '17-18 Lancers to surpass last season's victory total (seven).
Host Cuesta handed Pasadena its worst loss of the season thus far, 84-57, in the tournament opener. The Cougars rained in 13 shots from outside the 3-point circle, led by four from Josh Wilson-Murry and ran away with the victory. For PCC, Lee scored 16 points and Brown had 11 points. Rookie forward Jordan Simpson scores six points and led the team in rebounds with eight.
PCC participates in the 1-day, Reggie Morris Classic at Los Angeles Southwest College on Saturday, Jan. 13. The Lancers face Pierce in a 5 p.m. tip-off, marking the final non-conference game for the squad. PCC opens South Coast Conference North Division action on Wednesday, Jan. 17 when it plays at state No. 7-ranked East Los Angeles College.