By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College men's basketball team picked up three straight victories on their way to becoming the 3rd Annual Don Johnson Classic Champions. The Chargers defeated Glendale College 68-60 in the championship game in front of their home crowd on Saturday night. Freshman forward Mike Magee was selected Tournament MVP and sophomore forward Brennon Palmer was selected All-Tournament.
GAME 1 – Cypress 70 | Rio Hondo 62
Cypress began the tournament with a 70-62 victory over the Roadrunners on Thursday night. The Chargers shrugged off their recent offensive struggles with four players scoring in double-figures: Brennon Palmer (15), Randall Walker (12), Mike Magee (11), and Justin Smith (10). Magee and Palmer both notched double-doubles, finishing with 16 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
The Chargers jumped out to 15-point lead at the half before Rio Hondo cut the deficit to just five down the game's final stretch. A Walker steal followed by two made free throws ultimately put the game out of reach.
SEMI-FINAL – Cypress 70 | Moorpark 56
The Chargers picked up a big 70-56 victory over Moorpark College in Friday's tournament semi-final. Freshman Hayden Moore caught fire from beyond the arc, drilling four three-pointers on his way to 20 points. Palmer added 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Magee chipped in 13 points and 9 boards.
The game was tied 22-22 at halftime before the Chargers erupted for 48 points in the second half. However, the Chargers' defensive effort ultimately won them the game. Cypress held the Raiders to just 35% shooting and 23% from long-range, while forcing 16 turnovers resulting in 21 points for the Chargers.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Cypress 68 | Glendale 60
Cypress capped off the weekend with a 68-60 victory over Glendale College in Saturday's championship game. The Chargers put together one of their best performances of the year, shooting a season-high 48% from the field and a respectable 38% from three.
Tournament MVP Mike Magee led the way for Cypress, finishing with a season-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds. Freshman Hayden Moore added 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Freshman Kyle Small chipped in with 9 points off the bench.
Cypress survived a barrage of Glendale three pointers and overcame a 4-point halftime deficit by controlling the paint, where they outscored the Vaqueros 22 to 10 and outrebounded them 37 to 27. Again, the Chargers' defense ramped up in the second half, forcing the Vaqueros to commit 12 turnovers while Small provided the offensive spark.
"I am very proud of our team's effort on the defensive end," said Coach Alhadeff. "I think we are buying in to the idea of team defense and sharing the ball on offense. This group showed a lot of resiliency and mental toughness after a rough start to the season."
The Chargers have now improved to 4-6 on the season with a big home game this week against the 11-2 Citrus College Owls, who have proven to be one of the best teams in the state. That game will tip-off on Thursday at 6:00 pm in Gym II.
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