After dropping their first conference game of the season, head coach Michael Swanegan and the Lancers have remained composed, winning five straight games to stay in first place in the formidable South Coast North Division.
“We had our chance to be undefeated in conference but since our first conference loss we’ve been playing pretty well,” head coach Michael Swanegan said.
Ranked No. 12 in Southern California, the Lancers hope to rejoin the state top 20 poll after breaking the top 20 earlier in the season.
“When we play with a lot of energy and effort we’re a very tough team to beat,” sophomore forward Taj Spencer said. “We can’t be lackadaisical and play down to our opponents.”
Sitting atop the division with a conference record of 5-1, the Lancers are also trying to win their first conference title since the 1999-2000 season.
Against El Camino, sophomore point guard Jeffrey Dockett scored a team-high 18 points and tallied five steals and sophomore forward Taj Spencer added 13 points for the Lancers.
Since Jevon Shields was added to the starting lineup, coach Swanegan has been impressed with the progression of the freshman guard.
“JJ (Shields) has been playing pretty well for us in conference,” Swanegan said. “His production doesn’t always show up in the box score, but he’s hit some key baskets for us throughout the season. He has really been a positive development for our team and his defense has been very important for us.”
In the El Camino victory Shields was once again productive for the Lancers, recording 11 points in his fifth start of the season.
“I just try to play within the offense,” Shields said. “Coach wants me to bring the defensive intensity and I just try to focus on defense and doing the little things my teammates need from me. We’re a good team and if we continue to work hard on defense and know our assignments we can be a very dangerous team.”
The Lancers will host SCC South Division co-leaders Cerritos College on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Tip-off is 5 p.m.