Here come the scores. 

Mt. Sac @Long Beach  5pm  Game of the week.  Mt Sac has won 7 straight and Long Beach 9 straight.  Coaches poll says Mt. Sac but home game says Long Beach.

  • Mt. Sac 78 Long Beach City  70  Mt Sac led the whole game for a big win on the road.  One player short for Long Beach

Compton @LA Harbor  5pm  Both teams cannot afford to lose as they trail two full games in their conference and LA Harbor lighting candles for Mt. Sac and Compton lighting their candles for Long Beach?  Loss here will negatively affect seeding in playoffs.

  • Compton 73 LA Harbor 75  A war the whole way.

Palomar @Southwestern  5pm  Both teams are 4-0 in conference but Southwestern looks to be the strongest at home with seven straight wins.

  • Palomar 61 Southwestern 65  An unexpectedly close battle.

Palomar @Southwestern  5pm  Both teams are 4-0 in conference but Southwestern looks to be the strongest at home with seven straight wins.

Mt. Sac @Long Beach  5pm  Game of the week.  Mt Sac has won 7 straight and Long Beach 9 straight.  Coaches poll says Mt. Sac but home game says Long Beach. 

Compton @LA Harbor  5pm  Both teams cannot afford to lose as they trail two full games in their conference and LA Harbor lighting candles for Mt. Sac and Compton lighting their candles for Long Beach?  Loss here will negatively affect seeding in playoffs.

 

20 Wins!

There are an number of ways to measure whether your team is an elite program, one is winning 20+ games every year.  I thought it would be fun to look back at the last four years to see when and if AVC won their 20th game. 

YEAR DATE
2012* 15 February
2013 27 February
2014 29 January
2015 31 January?

* State Tournament Year

Saturday is the day AVC can win it’s 20th.  See you there. 

By the way, there are “20 wins” and “20 wins.”    AVC  played in what two conferences the last four 20 season years?  The fully replete Foothill Conference and 2014 and 2015 now the brutal Western State-South Conference.

 

tim gilmore

AVC showed their multiple weapons last night.  When their red hot long range shooting went cold, they attacked the basketball by driving the middle.  The most important thing about this team is that they don’t get rattled even when they are not playing their best basketball.  The sophomore dominated team just doesn’t panic. 

It wasn’t AVC’s best game by any means but as Shelton Boykin said, We’re not playing our best but, we are able to figure out teams and win.” 

The huge crowd at the Marauder Gym oooohed and aaaaahed in the first half at the dead-eye shooting of AVC and then chewed their nails in the second half as Bakersfield battled back into the game. 

Starter Tim Gilmore with 24 minutes put in 8 points…and two key free throws in the last minutes…that helped wrap up the game.  Not shown on the stats sheet was his defense, calm and smart play that ran time off the clock at the end of the game.

Playing in one of the toughest conference in the state is giving AVC a toughness that they will need when they enter the playoffs.

AVC won its 13th straight games and has a 7-0 conference record and a 19-4 overall. 



AVC survives Bakersfield

 
By: Alonso Tacanga


 

LANCASTER – Shelton Boykin danced around with the basketball, closer to midcourt than to the 3-point line, seemingly unaware that the last two seconds of the first half of Wednesday’s game against Bakersfield were about to expire.

By the time Boykin Jr.’s 27-footer had swished through the net, AVC head coach John Taylor – who instants before had been screaming at the top of his lungs for the Marauder to shoot the ball – was halfway through a reverse-baseball-swing pose, ending with a fist up in approval of one of the climaxing moments during the Marauders’ 74-65 Western State South Conference win.

"That’s huge," Taylor said. "Shelton lives for those kinds of shots.Shelton boykin shot We were trying to get him the ball, just not that far away."

Boykin’s big-time make was one of seven AVC treys in a first half where the Marauders used long-distance shooting to build a sizable lead before they eventually needed to fend off the pesky Renegades (12-9, 2-5 WSS)

The win was the 13th in a row for AVC (19-4, 7-0), which hasn’t lost in well over a month.

"Who’s counting?" Taylor said.

The Marauders’ last defeat occurred on Dec. 10 against San Bernardino Valley at the Riverside City Tournament. At the time, it had been the fourth loss in six games for AVC. The Marauders have certainly atoned for that since.

Boykin scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the first half – which AVC won 41-24 – and Ismail Ali and Adrian Francis each added 11 for the Marauders, who made 7-of-18 three-pointers before halftime but only 1-of-7 after that.

"Sometimes it gets hard to stay humble and put two halves together," Boykin said. "That’s the amazing part. We’re not playing our best and we are still able to pull out wins and figure out teams."

Before finally shaking off Bakersfield for good, the Marauders wasted all but four points from a 19-point second-half lead.

The result of getting outscored 30-15 after a basket by Tajee Shaw made it 50-31 early in the second half, AVC’s lead shrunk to 65-61 with 1:35 to go.

Knowing the 3-pointers that once were falling for them were no longer, Ali drove to the basket for a backbreaking layup that cooled off Bakersfield’s momentum and allowed AVC to finally exhale.

Ultimately, the Marauders were served by an outstanding first half and scored just enough after halftime to prevent a disheartening loss.

"To hang on, I thought we showed some guts," Taylor said. "Because (Bakersfield) came with everything they had."

The Marauders struggled with their three-point making in the second half, but they were still the envy of Bakersfield. The Renegades didn’t make a 3-pointer for the game, going 0-for-8.

Even as it needed points in a hurry down the stretch, Bakersfield chose to stay away from them. The Renegades only attempted two after halftime.

Outside of that, Bakersfield, which lost its fourth game in a row, went 18-for-36 from the field in the second half, while the Marauders went 11-for-31.

"In some instances, we might have been better off encouraging the 3, because they really attacked the basket well in the second half," Taylor said.

Bakersfield was led by guard Jameik Riviere and forward Deandre Dickson with 17 points apiece. Dickson also grabbed 12 rebounds.

In the end, AVC simply gave itself enough of an early cushion to withstand the Renegades’ onslaught and its own shooting woes after halftime. Boykin’s shot was clutch in that sense.

"If I need to make a big shot, I’m not afraid to take the big shot," Boykin said.

Victory Valley @Chaffey  It looks like San Bernardino Valley has the Foothill wrapped up unless divine intervention steps in.  The Foothill Conference will get three seeds in the playoffs and this game is key to stay in magic three team bubble.

  • Things are not going well for Victor Valley.  The two remaining “Big Dogs” in the Foothill Conference are starting to punish the other teams.  Victor Valley 49 Chaffey 83



Canyons @Citrus  The Western State-South conference could get three or four seeds in the playoffs and neither team can afford to lose this game.  Canyons cannot lose this game to stay in the magic bubble.  If Citrus loses this game their dream of catching AVC pretty much dies and goes away.  Game of the Day?

  • Citrus took care of business at home.  Tough loss for Canyons and it is not going to get any easier that they take on AVC on Saturday.  Citrus 80 Canyons 68 



Long Beach City @Compton  Compton has a good team and Long Beach has a great team.  Could it be that Long Beach might just be looking past Compton to Saturday’s game against Mt. Sac?  Oh yea, the game is at Compton! Gonna be some serious coaching done here.

  • Long Beach City is a well coached team with solid talent who took care of business on the road.  Long Beach 85  Compton 77

MiraCosta @Southwestern  MiraCosta starting five is as good as any team I have seen this year.  They have lost their last two games and their backup players are going to have to step up against a strong Southwestern to have to a chance to win and stay in the run for a playoff slot. 

  • Very tough loss for MiraCosta who needed this win badly.  Sourthwestern  78  MiraCosta 61.

Santa Monica @West LA  West LA cannot afford to lose this game if they want to stay in the running for the playoffs.  They have lost 3 of the last 4 games and now face Santa Monica who has as much or more talent than any team in the Western State-South conference.  Scary game for West LA.

  • West LA not only lost but was crushed at home by a up and coming Santa Monica.  West LA once ranked in the top 7 teams in the state has lost 4 of its last 5 in the brutal Western State-South conference and may have slid out of competition for a playoff slot. Santa Monica 86 West LA 65

LA Harbor @East LA  Both teams need a miracle to win their conference but are fighting for a seed in the playoff.  Key game with ELA on a hot streak and LA Harbor playing .500 ball.  Which coach can get his team up for this battle?

  • East LA is back.  Looks like after taking the middle of the season off, East LA is kicking butt starting the final run.  East LA 85 LA Harbor 76

Bakersfield @AVC  Bakersfield came into conference play highly ranked in SoCal and ran into a buzz saw of talent in the Western State-South.  They lost 4 of their last 5 in close games.  Bakersfield has an especially talented big man who is an handful to handle.  Key for AVC is to stay focused on one game at a time and continue to dominate with their defense. 

  • Bakersfield has talent and they just won’t give up.  AVC had a great first half and their second half defense needed some work. But, the big home crowd pulled AVC  through for a nine point win.  AVC 74  Bakersfield 65.

BAKERSFIELD came back against a overconfident AVC in second half but AVC had enough to win by 9.

AVC defense and up tempo game causing problems for Bfield.