Freshman Brandon Staton (Poly HS) scored a season-high 30 points while freshman Chris Spencer (Jordan HS) posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench to help lead the Long Beach City College men's basketball team to an 87-79 win over Santa Ana College in an opening-round game of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs.
No. 16 seed Long Beach, now 19-9 overall, advances to the second round and will travel to No. 1 Antelope Valley College for a 7 p.m. game on Saturday (Mar 1).
Staton had 22 points in the first half thanks to five three-pointers to stake the Vikings to a 46-39 lead at the break.
Santa Ana rallied in the second half and got within four points late, trailing just 79-75 after a layup by DuJuan Williams with one minute and 20 seconds left in the game. But Long Beach made all eight of its free throws over the final minute of the game, including six by Staton, to secure the victory.
Freshman Elijah Gaines (San Pedro HS) nearly had a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds while sophomore Kristien Owens (Wilson HS) chipped in with 14 points and four assists.
Williams nearly matched Staton for the No. 17 seed Dons. He scored 26 points off the bench for Santa Ana (16-11) while Cammie Lewis added 17 points.
Saturday will be the first meeting of the season between Long Beach and Antelope Valley. The Marauders enter the contest with a 26-4 overall record and were champions of the Western State Conference South Division.