The Cuesta College men’s basketball team traveled to Modesto on Thursday night and played spoiler in front of a thousand fans at the 78th MJC Tournament.
Evgeniy Moiseev tipped in a missed shot with two seconds left to give Cuesta a 62-61 win.
Modesto looked to be in control with an 8-point lead with 10 minutes to go in the second half, but a 9-0 run in the final 3:50 by Cuesta (10-4) gave the Cougars the win.
“They decided to sit on the ball, and it didn’t work for them,” Cuesta coach Rusty Blair said of Modesto’s end-of-game strategy. “We got rebounds in four of the final five possessions and went down and scored.”
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Blair said 6-foot-8 Cypress native Roberto Mantovani controlled most of the back-and-forth game for Cuesta. Mantovani finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Cuesta’s Karem Ozel had 14 points and was 3 of 6 from three-point range.
“They shot well, and we didn’t,” Blair said. “But more rebounds kept us in the game.”
Cuesta finished with 32 rebounds to Modesto’s 24.
Cuesta won’t know its opponent in the semifinal until early Friday morning, but the team is set to play at 8 p.m.