Tournament host College of the Canyons was unable to hold a 12-point halftime lead, eventually falling 67-64 to L.A. Trade Tech College in the opening round of the 28th Annual Cougar Holiday Classic on Thursday night.
Canyons (6-9) was led by Frankie Campbell and Jeremy Hwang who registered 13 and 12 points, respectively. However, neither player scored in the second half as the Cougars posted just 19 points after halftime.
The visiting Beavers (4-8) jumped out to a quick 11-3 lead to start the contest with Canyons then following with a 16-0 run of its own. Trade Tech rallied to tie the score at 23 before the Cougars closed out the half strong with a 12-point lead.
The Beavers came out strong in the second half, taking the lead at 59-58 on back-to-back three point baskets from Braylin Simmons. They grew the lead to three when Rayshawn Bulger made the second of his own back-to-back hoops late in the half.
With the Cougars down two points late, Jude Agbasi fired a deep-corner two that missed the mark. Simmons grabbed the rebound and later hit one of two free throws, forcing a timeout from the Cougars.
But Lilley's shot just missed the mark, putting LATTC in the win column and sending the Beavers to the championship game.
Simmons led the way for L.A. Trade Tech with 16 points while Bulger chipped in 15.
Canyons will next face Ohlone College in the tournament's third place game at 1 p.m. on Friday.
The Beavers will face Orange Coast College in the championship game at 3 p.m. on Friday. OCC previously defeated Ohlone College 84-74 in game two on Thursday.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
—Photo credit Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information