MBK: Pasadena jumps on SBCC early

Pasadena opened with a 17-5 run on Friday and went on to beat SBCC 78-39 in a consolation semifinal at the 41st annual SBCC Classic men’s basketball tournament.

Taj Spencer paced the 15th-ranked Lancers (7-4) with 15 points and three steals. Frank Oyalade added 10 points and 10 rebounds, helping Pasadena to a 43-19 advantage on the boards.

Pasadena outshot the home team 54.2 to 29.4 percent in the first half and went on a 17-4 run in the last four minutes to take a 39-13 lead into the locker room. The Lancers used their full-court press to create steals that led to easy baskets.

Stephen Harper topped the Vaqueros (1-7) with eight points.

“It was a combination of things,” said SBCC coach Morris Hodges. “Obviously our poor shooting and we had difficulty guarding them. They were very athletic and kept beating us off the dribble. We didn’t block them out on the boards.

“They just outplayed us. In the first half, we compounded our issues with 12 turnovers leading to 16 points.”

SBCC made just 13-of-44 shots for the game (29.5 percent) and converted only 2-20 from 3-point land. Pasadena shot 52.8 percent and hit 6-16 from long range.

Victor Valley, the second-highest scoring team in the state at 90.5 per game, knocked off Cypress 70-60 in the first championship semifinal. No. 11 Irvine Valley improved to 11-0 with a 74-67 victory over No. 20 Hancock in Friday’s nightcap.

Bakersfield beat L.A. Valley 72-64 to move into Saturday’s consolation final against Pasadena at 3 p.m. Cypress and Hancock will battle for third place at 5 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. championship between Victor Valley and Irvine Valley.