San Bernardino, CA - The Fighting Cacti Men's Basketball Team had a tall task in front of them as they entered the Alvin Hunter Classic at San Bernardino Valley College. The tournament was loaded with state-ranked programs and the Cacti proved they belonged in that same conversation.
Friday paired Copper Mountain against West LA College. The Cacti jumped on the preseason 21st ranked team in the state and found themselves with a 12 point lead at halftime. West LA put up a great fight in the second half and got back into the ball game, but the Cacti made the plays down the stretch to hold on for a 79-76 win in the opening round of the tournament. CMC was led by Dillon Voyles who put up 22 points including 4 three-pointers. Adam Woods had a terrific game chipping in 15 points to help secure the victory. Tyler Hudson dished out 6 assists and Zack Kroker pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Cacti.
There was not much time to celebrate their victory from the previous night as the men were paired up with East LA College on Saturday night. East LA came into the contest as the 4th ranked team in the state in the preseason polls. The Cacti picked up right where they left off the previous night. The jumped out to a 42-27 halftime lead against the powerful Huskies. CMC woking up a sleeping dog (Husky) and was prepared for the fight. East LA had their way against the Cacti in the first ten minutes of the second half cutting the lead to as little as 2 points. The men regained their composure and were able to match the Huskies shot for shot the rest of the way pulling out a 78-76 victory to advance to the finals of the tournament. Dillon Voyles was once again unstoppable. He tallied 30 points in the contest thanks to hitting 15 of 18 from the charity stripe. Hyking Brisbon added 14 points and 9 rebounds in the victory. Tyler Hudson contributed with 9 points and 5 assists.
The reward for back to back victories against state-ranked teams...the 9th ranked team in the state. The finals were an all Inland Empire Athletic Conference as the Fighting Cacti took on tournament host San Bernardino Valley College. Playing without starter Adam Woods, the Cacti did not miss a beat in the first half as the battled the Wolverines to a 32-32 tie at the Half. SBVC came out firing early in the second though building an 18 point lead early in the half. There was no quit in the Cacti as they were able to cut the lead to 6 late in the contest, but the comeback fell just short as they fell 87-78 in the title game. Dillon Voyles was near perfect in the game going 5-6 from the field, 4-4 from three, and 8-8 from the frett throw line for 22 points. Tyler Hudson had 14 points and 4 assists and Hyking Brisbon added 10 points and 6 boards.
The Fighting Cacti Men's Team will have their first home game of the season as they battle #26 Santiago Canyon on Friday, November 22nd at 5 pm inside the Bell Center.