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Feb 28, 2013 12:26 AM by Andrew Masuda

Citrus knocks Cuesta men out of playoffs again

The Citrus College men's basketball team ended Cuesta's postseason for the third time in the last four years. The Owls went on an 18-0 run late in the first half to take control in their 84-67 win at Cuesta in a Southern California Regional Playoff first round game Wednesday.

Cuesta, which came in as the 16th seed in the region, finished the season 18-14 overall. The 17th seeded Owls improved to 16-10 and play at top seeded Saddleback on Saturday night in a second round game.

The Cougars suffered a major blow on Tuesday when the team's leading scorer Plamen Hristov broke a bone in his left hand at practice. The 6-4 sophomore, who averaged 17 points per game during the regular season, still played in the game, but attempted just two shots from the floor. Hristov finished with 2 points, a team-best 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Cuesta trailed 11-10 midway through the first half, but went on a 6-0 run fueled by buckets from Mohammed Ali Ben Ammar, Oscar Pedroso and Arne Ingebrigtsen to take a 16-11 lead with 9:28 to go in the half. The Owls went on an 18-0 run over the next five minutes to built a 29-16 lead. Citrus carried a 35-27 lead into halftime.

Pedroso, a freshman from Portugal, scored two early buckets in the second half to bring the Cougars to within six. However, Citrus pushed the lead back up to double figures and never looked back.

Pedroso led the Cougars with 25 points. Jeremy Landenbergue added 13 for Cuesta.

Kerry Carter led the Owls with 23 points and Gregory Sequele racked up 15.

The Cougars also lost to Citrus in the playoffs in 2012 (79-83), 2010 (80-82) and in 2007 (57-68).

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