Regular season success does not always translate into playoff victories, a lesson the Santa Monica College men’s basketball team found out all too well last weekend.
Despite two wins against them during the 2010-2011 regular season, SMC fell short of beating L.A. Harbor College in the playoffs, as the Corsairs lost to the Seahawks, 71-66, in the first round of the 2011 state playoffs at the Corsair Pavilion on Feb. 26.
Corsairs head coach Jerome Jenkins believed his team let one get away when it mattered most.
“I think we panicked a little bit down the stretch, shot some ill-advised shots, we were trying to make some home-run plays, but it just didn’t happen,” Jenkins said. “I think we took for granted we were going to make a run because we had been doing that all year long it finally caught up to us tonight.”
SMC (20-8), who won its final 10 games of the regular season en route to its first conference championship since 1999, had multiple chances to put away the Seahawks, taking a 39-30 lead into halftime when guard A.J. Harris beat the halftime buzzer with a teardrop floater.
However, behind the hot shooting of forward Marlin Ramos and center Sheldon Allen, the Seahawks (17-12) started the second half with a 16-2 run to take a 48-43 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game.
SMC responded with a 13-5 run of its own to reclaim a 56-53 lead four minutes later, but the Corsairs went cold the rest of the way and failed to stop big plays by Ramos, who scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half.
SMC’s Lee Lark led all players with 21 points, while Harris added 12 points.