By: Jorge Campos
For most of the season the three bore fruit for the Dons. By the first game of the playoffs, the three was barren.
Long Beach City College freshman guard Chris Spencer’s two second-half dunks ended two spirited comeback runs that sent Santa Ana College home early for the second year in a row.
Dons leading scorer Cammie Lewis sniped three but also missed eight from deep as the Dons fell 87-79 in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs at Long Beach.
Spencer threw the gut punch that knocked down the pesky Dons, shooting five for six and scoring 11 points in the second half.
The Dons made 13 three pointers, but shot just 31 percent overall from the field.
Coach Dave Brieg continued last season’s strategic shift to a perimeter-heavy offense.
The team responded by matching the Saddleback College Gaucho’s conference record to tie for the conference crown, a feat no SAC team has done since Y2K scared Windows users during the 1999 to 2000 season.
An experienced sophomore guard combo led the squad, acting as Brieg’s catalysts on the floor.
Lewis paced the Dons with 19.4 points a game, while converting about three treys for a 43.1 three-point shooting percentage.
Erik Emanuel led the team in three key categories after hauling down 8.5 rebounds and stealing 3.4 in less than 20 minutes.
The steady playmaker acted as a magnet for defenders, allowing him to average 4.9 assists per game.
The team’s fast paced style has also helped create more possessions that, combined with limiting turnovers, has led to more shot attempts.
The guard-heavy rotation helped the team average at least four more shots a game than the conference average.
Freshman guard DuJuan Williams led the Dons with 26 points off the bench in the loss to Long Beach, shooting 7 of 18 from the field, including 5 of 9 from behind the arc.
Williams picked up the offense after the starting backcourt froze. The team shot more than half of its total field goal attempts from behind the line, and failed to muster efficient two-pointers.
The Dons also shot two less free throws than three-pointers, failing to capitalize on an excellent 76 percent team average.
The Dons regained its title as OEC champs after more than a decade of absence. Here’s how: