Joshua Tree, CA - The Copper Mountain Men's basketball team has no quit in them and that was evident in their nail-biting loss to the 5th ranked team in the state. The Cacti had a hard time finding the bottom of the net early in their contest against Santiago Canyon, but their defensive intensity kept them within striking distance early in the first half. Santiago Canyon raced out to a 12 point lead early in the game, but nothing came easy for the Hawks. Then the Cacti got a lift on the offensive end when Hyking Brisbon got inserted into the game. Hyking scored 12 points in the first half as he battled on the offensive boards and cleaned-up his teammate's misses. Behind Brisbon's effort, the Cacti were able to chip away at the Hawk's lead and found themselves only down by 6 with 2:30 left in the first half. Unfortunately for the copper and teal, the half would not end well for them. Santiago Canyon hit a couple of threes late mixed with some CMC turnovers that led to the Hawks outscoring CMC by eight the rest of the way in the half. The Cacti went into the half trailing 41-27.
The second half would start the way the first ended and SCC scored the first six points of the half to extend their lead to 20. The Cacti continued to battle and Hyking Brisbon, as well as Zack Kroker, continued to dominate on the inside. Hyking would finish the game with a team-high 29 points and he collected 16 rebounds. Kroker would chip in 18 points. Tyler Hudson would catch fire in the second half scoring all 12 of his points in the frame. With the Cacti trailing by four with under 20 seconds to play, sharpshooter Demarcus King came off the bench to hit a three and cut the Hawks lead to 1. Santiago Canyon would hit 2 free throws on their next possession to stretch the lead back to 3 with eight seconds to go and a Cacti three late to tie would fall short as the Hawks leave the high desert with an 81-78 victory over the Cacti.
The men's team is back in action on Monday, December 2 at 5:00 PM vs Golden West College inside the Bell Center.