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Tigers fall short in Championship game

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By Mike Meraz

RCC’s Nik Bradford, #14 makes an attempt to sink the ball in the basket during the 38th Annual Wells Fargo Holiday Tournament against Antelope Valley on Dec.8. With both temas neck and neck until the end, Antelope Valley won 61-59 with a game winning shot and 5.2 seconds left in the game. (Khai Le)

By Mike Meraz

The Riverside men’s basketball team fell to the Antelope Valley Marauders 61-59 in a hard fought championship match of the 38th annual Wells Fargo tournament hosted by Riverside City College.

The game was close throughout, but with the score tied 59-59, Fullerton sank the game winner with 5.2 seconds remaining in the contest. The team was led by Anthony Scott with 18 points, including 4 three pointers.

Scott’s three pointer tied the game at 59 with 30 seconds to play, but a missed jump shot by James Simmons at the end of regulation led to the Marauder’s victory.

The Tigers opened the tournament strong with a first round win over the Riverside All-Stars. Four of the Tiger’s players ended up scoring in double figures to give the Tigers an 82-80 victory.

The team rode the momentum of their first game into the second round match against the East Los Angeles Huskies.

The game was close throughout until it was broken open, thanks in large part to an 8-0 run for the Tigers. Led by Anthony Dandy, who had a game high 16 points, the Tigers swarmed and bothered the Husky offense the entire night.

The high energy and constant press defense forced East Los Angeles into countless turnovers, which led to a handful of easy buckets and 38 points.

In the semi-final round of the tournament, Riverside faced off against the number two ranked team in the state, Fullerton.

The Tigers dug deep and came out on top in a thrilling quadruple overtime victory 114-110. Dandy had another phenomenal game scoring 32 points for the home team, while the Riverside bench outscored Fullerton’s bench 49-14.

With 2:20 remaining in the fourth overtime, Nick Bradford dropped in two free throws to put the Tigers ahead for good 112-110. It was a very dramatic and physical game which saw 79 total fouls, 5 of which were technicals.

Tournament honors went to Dandy, Scott, and Keiran Nunley for their outstanding play throughout all four games. Dandy had a total of 73 points in the tournament.

The loss in the championship match puts the team’s record at 10-3 overall.

The team will have a chance to defend their tough loss in a rematch with Antelope Valley on Dec. 19th in Lancaster.

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