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Late Game Push Comes Up Short in Second Round Against Citrus

Late Game Push Comes Up Short in Second Round Against Citrus

CYPRESS, CA- Cypress men's basketball (18-12, 10-6 OEC) concluded their season after a playoff loss to the Citrus Owls (26-3, 13-1 WSC) on Saturday, February 25th in the second round of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs, 81-74. 

The Chargers entered the playoffs as the #18 ranked team in the SoCal bracket of the CCCAA postseason. In the first round, Cypress faced off against a team they lost to back in November. The Chargers were successful as they took down the higher ranked #15 Long Beach City Vikings in an upset victory. In the close matchup, the Chargers came out on top and won 76-71 to advance to the third round. 

There, they were to play the #2 ranked team in the SoCal bracket, the Citrus Owls. Though the squad was down 40-21 at the end of the first half, Cypress did not lie down and put up a valiant fight. The Chargers outscored the Owls in the second half by twelve points but it was not enough to make up for the first half play. Cypress was defeated by the #2 seed 81-74 and have finished their 2022-2023 season.

Head Coach Alhadeff helped to improve his team's performance from the prior year's campaign. The Chargers added two conference wins to their record from last season that allowed them to jump from sixth place in Orange Empire Conference to fourth. It was a young team with many freshmen that stepped up along with sophomores that returned to lead the charge. 

Grant Sii earned the highest award amongst the Chargers by being named to the First Team All-OEC. It was his second consecutive year at Cypress that he was selected for OEC honors. In his freshman year, Blake Ballard's performance earned him a spot on the Second Team as he was at the top of the list for points per game for his team. Allen Wright was given an honorable mention and Hadi Essayli was chosen for the Second Team and led the entire conference in rebounds per game. 

The young team proved their talent and hard work on the court from their playoff win against Long Beach City and from their consistent play all year long. Cypress was balanced and did not allow road games to affect their play with a 8-5 home and 8-7 road record. Against conference opponents above them on the standings, the Chargers managed to split their two meetings with the Saddleback Bobcats and Santiago Canyon Hawks. Cypress's men's basketball made a positive jump forward this past season as they pushed up the conference two spaces. With OEC recognized players set to return as well as Head Coach Alhadeff, Chargers look to continue their improvement throughout the offseason. 


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