It's been over 10 years since El Camino College has had a playoff basketball team and it's been 20 years since they've had a 20-win season.
But those dubious streaks ended as the Warriors (20-10) faced Imperial Valley Junior College on Wednesday in the first round of the state regional playoffs.
"Making the playoffs gives you an opportunity and you never know where it could take you," head coach Michael Fenison said.
In his fourth year at the helm, Fenison has seen his program significantly improve each year. The Warriors only won three games in his first year but over the next two years, the win total increased from six to 15. The team has been led this year by sophomore Marcellus Cullors, who is averaging 17 points on the year The former Carson High School product has scored 30 or more in several games
Sophomore Joey Knox, formerly of Westchester High School, has also been a key contributor with his speed and toughness on both sides of the ball.
Success usually starts from the top down and this was especially true for the Warriors as Fenison never wavered in his belief of how good his team could be this year.
"I knew they were better than what they thought they were. And that in itself took some time," he said, "We're not a great team but we're a good team and if we play a certain way, we'll win."
The Warriors finished second in the South Division of the South Coast Conference to L.A. Southwest College (23-8), who will begin their playoff push on Friday.
In the North Division, LA Trade Tech (25-4) and LA City College (24-8) will look to make noise in the playoffs as both finished 1-2 in the North Division of the South Coast Conference and are ranked No. 10 and 15, respectively in this week's state coaches poll.
LACC will face Riverside Community College on Friday at home while Trade Tech will also host a game on Friday.