Men’s Basketball: Roadrunners Come Close in Home Opener

Madelyn Gastelum, Reporter

Friday, Nov. 9, Rio Hondo men’s basketball lost 86-73 to the Mt San. Jacinto College Eagles at their preseason home opener.

Rio Hondo had a strong start in the first half trailing the Eagles by only 10 points at halfime.

Mt. San Jacinto College opened the game and ran a full court press on Rio Hondo utilizing it to slow the Roadrunner’s offense and push for turnovers which they quickly converted to points on the scoreboard. Roadrunner sophomore guard Jonathan Martinez led the hosts in scoring, putting up 18 points while shooting 75 percent from the free throw line.

The Roadrunners tried to fight back against the Eagles but their defense struggled to keep up with the quick ball handling skills that their opponent brought to the table. Mt. San Jacinto managed to break into the paint and pick apart the Roadrunner defense with a majority of points scored inside the key.

Leading Rio Hondo with rebounds was sophomore forward Uziel Felix who gathered 9 boards throughout the game. Almost reaching double-digits, Felix was able to give the Roadrunner offense the opportunity to convert his rebounds to points and slow the game play by spreading out the players that jammed the paint.

Starting up the second half the Roadrunners came out with a new fire as freshman guard Tysan Harris scored the first points from a fast break layup off a steal. With 12 minutes left in the game Rio struggled to catch up as the Eagles lead by 20 at 59-39. Sophomore guard Elijah McCoy tried to close the gap for the team by scoring 2 out ot 5 3-point attempts but it was slim.

Though Rio Hondo worked hard they couldn’t manage to keep up with the fast transitioning that San Jacinto’s offense and defense brought to the table, the second half closed out with the Eagles putting up 46 points on the board while Rio missed the mark scoring 43. The game closed out with the Roadrunners down by 13 points, but they look forward to their second home game against the Santa Ana College Dons tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 14. Tip-off is set for 5 pm.