Cubs Upset Top-Ranked Irvine Valley To Win Rio Hondo Classic
December 13, 2007

It didn't come easy or fast but hard work, defense, and key baskets favored Los Angeles City College in upsetting top-ranked Irvine Valley College, 77-74, to win the Rio Hondo College Classic on Sat., Dec. 8.

Irvine Valley College was de facto highest ranked among all southern California community colleges with an 11-0 record entering the Championship game of the Classic. LA City advanced to the finals of the Rio Hondo Classic following victories over highly regarded Santa Monica College (59-57) and Santa Ana College (77-74) to improve to 10-2.

LA City sprinted to a 42-32 halftime lead behind the solid guard play of freshman point guard Branden Fisher (Chicago, Ill.) and fellow frosh guard Scott Sterling (Bronx, NYC), team shooting of 15-25 (.600) from the field, and 8-for-8 at the free throw line.

IVC countered early in the second half with a 15-4 run to take the lead, 47-46, with 14:30 remaining. It was a nip-n-tuck affair the rest of the game with the deciding points coming from freshman reserve guard, James White (Jackson, Miss.), when he made two free throws with 9.7-seconds remaining to seal the three-point margin.

The last time the Cubs defeated a top-ranked team was in the 2001-02 State Championship when they downed No. 1-ranked San Francisco City College (34-1) in the second round of the California Final Eight in Stockton, Calif. Los Angeles City finished State Runner-up that season with a 30-9 record.

Fisher was named Classic Most Valuable Player after compiling three-game totals of 70 points, 12 assists, and 17 rebounds including 18 points against Irvine Valley. Sterling earned All-Classic honors behind 43 points and nine rebounds in three games.

The 11-2 Cubs are ranked 8th in California and host Cypress College this Saturday in The Gym.