COSTA MESA, Calif. – Despite a career-high 16 points from freshman Jhoan Camacho, the Hawks dropped the opening-round game against No. 9-ranked Vanguard 80-71 as their comeback bid fell short.
Trailing by as much as 19 points with 9:47 left in the game, the Hawks clawed back to get the deficit to eight points as Rafael Rodriguez scored a layup with 1:12 left. Rodriguez then hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left as the Lions led 79-71.
Vanguard hit one free throw down the stretch for the nine point win.
SDC shot 38 percent from the floor including 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. The Hawks went 13-of-22 from the charity stripe.
With the loss, SDC is eliminated from the GSAC Tournament and falls to 8-16.
The Hawks never led in the game but was tied twice in the first half. Camacho hit a jumper early on to tie it 2-2. Dickerson followed with a layup with 18:39 remaining in the half for a 4-4 game. But the Lions would extend their distance and their lead by taking a 10-point advantage into the half, 48-38.
In the second half, the Lions made a strong push to grab the game-high 19 point lead. Then the Hawks made their run, 18-7, as Rodriguez's layup brought the deficit to eight but it was too little, too late.
SDC led Vanguard in rebounds by a slight 47-44 margin but the Hawks ended with 22 turnovers compared to the Lions' 16. Vanguard shot 40 free throws making just 23 of them.
DeAngelo Jones scored a game-high 22 points for Vanguard who will play Westmont in the semi finals on Saturday.