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PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : Seahawks Start Fast but Fall to Cerro Coso of Bishop, 75-69

Despite a fast start by the Los Angeles Harbor College basketball team, the Seahawks were handed their first Southern California Athletic Conference defeat by visiting Cerro Coso College of Bishop, 75-69.

Eddie Davis sealed the victory for the Coyotes (8-9, 4-1) with four consecutive free throws in the closing moments. The Seahawks (11-8, 4-1) took an early 19-6 lead behind 16 first-half points from Keith Billingslea.

Cerro Coso battled back for a 35-34 lead at the half. “We got off to a fast start but we didn’t execute well offensively after that,” Harbor Coach Ken Curry said. In the second half, tough pressure defense by the Coyotes resulted in many turnovers by the Seahawks.

“We knew we had to shut Billingslea down,” Cerro Coso Coach Larry Bird said. “I think we confused them with our defense in the second half. Our defense got them out of sync and we got a lot of easy baskets.”

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Half of Cerro Coso’s 40 second-half points came off turnovers by Harbor that resulted in layups.

“Our defense really stunk tonight,” Curry said. “It was like we didn’t come to play. The Seahawks were without Jerome Hendrix, their second-leading scorer, and reserve guard Charles Perry.

“We did not have a good week of practice and it showed tonight. We were missing a couple of players. I am not making any excuses, but I expected those guys to show up tonight. I guess that’s just the nature of JC basketball.”

Billingslea finished with 22 points. Ronald Lewis had 13 and Vernon Middleton tallied 10 for Harbor. Eddie Davis and David Flucker scored 16 each for Cerro Coso. Harbor will be at home Friday night to take on Marymount Palos Verdes College. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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