Undefeated AVC(9-0) had a Plan

Posted: December 7, 2015 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2015-16, AVC Tournament, Player, Pre-Conference
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Some AVC fans? were already saying before the game started,  “Great try for AVC, the loss to San Bernardino won’t hurt their ranking too much.”  Others were saying, “A ten point loss would be win.”

What was the AVC team saying?  “Screw all of you, we have a plan and the players to exploit their weaknesses and we will beat them.”  And they did.

Led by tournament MVP Joseph JJ Moorer and All-Tournament Jalen Etienne, the Texas rocket, AVC kept the size advantage of SBVC under control and exploited their ball handling down the stretch.  Following the coaching plan to a T.

Even with a 9-0 record, the AVC team is a work in progress and has the potential to be a much better team in the future.. Good, scary thought.

JAKE2844

JAKE2827


AVC topples San Bernardino in thriller

By: John Sanders(AV Press)

LANCASTER – Wow.

That’s really all that can be said.

It was like a battle of two undefeated heavyweight boxers going at it when San Bernardino Valley College and Antelope Valley College faced each other in the final of the 64th Annual Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament on Sunday.

And it lived up to all the hype.

The Marauders took every punch that the Wolverines threw at them on the chin and kept coming back. In the end, in a stunning turn of events, it was AVC that rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat San Bernardino 70-66 in a thriller at AVC.

"I’m really proud of our guys because we’re not as disciplined as we should be. This team is obviously resilient, but once we start executing more, we’re going to be a handful," Marauders head coach John Taylor said. "There’s a trait I call a ‘will to win’ and you can’t coach that. They’re starting to buy into the game plan."

AVC (9-0), the only remaining undefeated team in southern California, trailed 54-41 in the second half following a bucket by the Wolverines’ Robert Lewis. But just as they have done the entire tournament, the Marauders fought their way back.

Case in point, AVC’s Joseph Moorer.

The Marauders focused their attention on getting Moorer the ball, and the tournament’s MVP responded.

Trailing by 13, Moorer (22 points) converted a 4-point play after hitting a 3-pointer while he was fouled. He then scored five more points the next two times down the court, trimming SBVC’s (11-1) lead to 55-50 with 6:38 remaining.

"This is a big win for us. The thing I love most about this team is we never quit," Moorer said. "We always fight. This game speaks volumes about our character. I was fortunate my team was looking for me and I was able to come through for them. Big ups to our coaches. They teach us not to give up. It was a big overall team effort."

AVC trailed by 10 points, 62-52, before the Wolverines began to implode. The Marauders used a stingy 2-2-1 full-court press defense, which SBVC couldn’t handle.

AVC trailed 62-54 with less than three minutes remaining and needed to get stops. Sharpshooter Cory Dollarhide cut into the lead by netting a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining in the game, giving the Marauders life and making the score 62-57.

"We just kept fighting. We played with heart and with passion. Our coach tells us not to stop fighting," said AVC’s Jalen Etienne, who was one of the catalysts at the point of attack to lead the comeback. "Basketball is a game of runs. They made their run and we made ours. I’m very happy, but we still have a lot of work to do."

Following Dollarhide’s 3-pointer, AVC’s press gave SBVC fits again. Etienne stole a ball near half court and scored an easy layup, cutting the deficit to 62-59 with less than a minute remaining.

Yet another steal by the Marauders resulted in the Wolverines fouling Gregory Wesley. Wesley calmly made both free throws and AVC only trailed 62-61 with 49 seconds remaining.

"I thought the key was to get into a full-court game with them," Taylor said. "I thought we did a good job with our press and we haven’t practiced it that much."

Things further began to unravel for SBVC. After a bucket by the Wolverines’ JaCardo Hawkins, putting his team up 64-61 with 17.1 seconds remaining, AVC rushed the ball up the court and Etienne was fouled. After making both free throws, the Marauders forced another turnover and Wesley scored an easy bucket to make it 65-64 in favor of AVC.

It was short-lived, however, as SBVC sprinted down the court and Perris Hicks scored a runner to give the Wolverines a 66-65 lead.

Then something strange happened.

Trailing by a point, Etienne was fouled driving to the basket with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. Wolverines coach Quincy Brewer was upset with the call and appeared to yell out an obscenity to the officials and was given a technical foul. So the Marauders were awarded four free throws, two for the foul on Etienne and two for the technical on Brewer.

Moorer made one of two free throws by shooting the technical fouls, tying the score, 66-66. Etienne made both of his free throws, giving AVC a 68-66 lead. After Perris was hit with another technical foul, Dollarhide sank two free throws, sealing the victory.

"I think we were fortunate because these guys do stay together. Being disciplined was the only way we were going to beat San Bernardino," Taylor said. "But I’m going to tell the guys this is only one game, whether we lost or whether we won, it’s a long season, but it just shows our potential, nothing more, nothing less."

It was the Marauders’ first Gregg Anderson tournament championship since 2011. They entered the game ranked No. 9 in the state, while the Wolverines were ranked second.

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