By John M. Sherrard
(Walnut, CA) In a thriller of a championship game, the Long Beach City College Vikings defeated the host Mounties in the 22nd Annual Linda G. Smith Memorial Tip-Off Classic, 82-75, Sunday afternoon.
Before a large and very boisterous crowd at the Mt. SAC Gymnasium, it took three overtimes to knock off the eight-time tourney champion Mounties.
McLaughlin, who led the Mounties to their eighth CCCAA State Championship last season, was named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Jonnae Vermillion.
Long Beach City College (LBCC) was led by tournament MVP Jada Haynes with a game-high 28 points.
Mt. SAC built up its largest lead early in the third quarter, 42-28, but the Vikings crawled back into the game. With :10 left in regulation, they tied the game at 59-59.
LBCC took its first lead of the game with only three seconds left, 61-59, but McLaughlin was fouled on a desperation three-point attempt with :01 left in the game.
McLaughlin missed the first but sank the remaining two free throws to send the game into overtime.
Each team scored a mere four points in the first OT, with Douglas and Deja Siaki (7 PTS, 5 REB) scoring layups for the Mounties to tie the game at 65 points.
The Vikings took a seven-point lead in the second overtime, 72-65, but Mt. SAC went on a 7-0 run to tie the game behind two free throws from Douglas, a basket and a free throw by Siaki. Celeste Brown added a layup (11 pts., 5 of 6 FT, 5 REB, 3 STL) with 1:23 left in the second OT.
LBCC opened the third OT on a 9-2 run and Mt. SAC couldn't recover as the Vikings took the nearly three-hour long championship game.
Mt. SAC will next travel to the annual Ventura Kiwanis Tourney, which begins on Friday, November 24th and is the first of four tournaments through the end of the year before South Coast Conference play begins in January.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.