Continuing their hot start to the season, the Rio Hondo College men’s basketball team had to work their way to a win in the second half as they defeated Cypress College for their sixth win of the season.

After losing their home opener to MiraCosta College Nov. 10, Rio Hondo seemed poised to win their fourth straight game after sweeping three games in the El Camino Tournament that included wins against MiraCosta, Moorpark College and Santa Ana College.

Early in the game, the Roadrunners were out of sync, turning the ball over and missed shots that led to a 21-13 lead by Cypress when Rio Hondo called a timeout.

It took a while for Rio to get some offense going, with Josiah Sotomayor keeping the Roadrunners afloat with 10 points and Trevon Welch helping out with eight points all in the first half.

However, it was the key play of Adrien Hayes off the bench that sparked the Roadrunners run, hitting two three point shots including one before the end of the first half that gave Rio Hondo momentum going into the locker room and cut the deficit to one, trailing 35-34.

From that point on, it was the Roadrunners game full on, especially for DeShaun Carr, who lifted the team by scoring 13 points in the second half.

Also helping out in the second half was Sotomayor going five for six from the free throw line, a huge disparity in free throw shooting in the second half going Rio Hondo’s way and Angel Sandoval chipping in 16 points in the game, 12 of those coming in the second half.

After the game, men’s basketball head coach Mike Lowe said of his teams first half performance, “Cypress is good and [we] didn’t grind the first eight minutes of the game and after that [we] grinded, [we] had longer possessions.”

“[We] made them work harder at the offensive end and the result of that was [we] put good possessions together and I thought it was a real good win.”

Lowe did not forget about the player who made a difference in the game, noting who made the difference in the game, “Adrien Hayes gave us a great boost coming in, hitting the two jump shots in the first half and DeShaun Carr was great, Josiah Sotomayor and Miles Jackson both did a great job at the defensive end.”

Now as the team goes up to an overall six wins and two losses, Lowe notes that the team needs to get better, “we’re kind of an inexperienced group and we’ve got to get better at playing situations, but we handled the situations well tonight.”

“I thought [we] closed the game out well with good shot selections, so it’s just a daily grind.”

The team will have a while to rest until Dec. 2-4, when they will participate in the Antelope Valley College Tournament.