It Comes Down to Two Games

Posted: February 17, 2016 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2015-16, conference, Playoffs

With a 13-0 record breaking start of the season, then a tough run through the Western State-South(7-5)(21-6) so far, it all comes down to the last two games for state playoff seeding.  Its time for the team to go undefeated at home this year and run into the playoffs on a hot streak by beating Santa Monica.

The following article on tonight’s Coaches vr. Cancer game shows the community support for the AVC basketball teams. 

AVC hosts Coaches vs. Cancer

That wasn’t a bad Sunday sports parlay.

A week ago Sunday, a Valley neighbor captained the Denver Broncos’ special teams that produced a Super Bowl-record punt return. Sunday, another neighbor nearly broke Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA All-Star Game scoring record.

Todd Davis of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers grew up in a Valley that prided itself on doing things in a major league way.

"The minor leagues in a major league way," was how JetHawks Hall of Fame manager Rick Burleson described Lancaster’s franchise in the California League.

That same description applies to the proud community tradition of Antelope Valley College athletics since Newton Chelette’s arrival on May 17, 1989, a date which should forevermore be an AVC school holiday.

There’s a logical limit to that ambitious Valley sports culture, of course.

The JetHawks still make $850 a month after taxes on their standard minor league contracts and crowd four and sometimes six into two-bedroom apartments to make ends meet.

Houston is still the Promised Land.

No matter how much the gleaming Marauder sports complex resembles Division I, it remains a two-year institution that is a launch pad to the future.

With one exception.

One remarkable, inspiring exception.

Over the last three years, Antelope Valley College’s fundraising in the annual Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic can stand shoulder to shoulder with UCLA, USC, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State and any other Division I program in Los Angeles County.

The Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic grew out of the tribute to the late North Carolina State Coach Jim Valvano, a cancer victim.

Not surprisingly, given the millionaire coaches in major college basketball, the effort has raised millions for cancer research.

Four years ago, California’s community colleges joined the cause.

Moorpark College set the standard, raising $2,400.

Each of the last three years, Antelope Valley College has raised more than $20,000.

They might as well rename the community college version the Marauder Coaches Vs. Cancer.

"It really has become a tradition, a history, a heritage of giving and caring," said Chelette, AVC’s athletic director who has embraced this fundraising challenge intensely and personally. "This is why I’ve stayed here 26 years. The people in this community really step up to help with great causes.

"The people in this Valley are very caring, generous people, and they never miss a chance to show it."

There may not be a prouder dimension of the proud community tradition.

Once again this season, Chelette and AVC President Ed Knudson will conduct a 60-second fundraising free throw shooting contest.

You can pledge money for each free throw made. Forms are available at the college, the Valley chapter of the American Cancer Society and the Hunter Dodge dealership in the Lancaster Auto Mall.

You can also make donations prior to the event by calling Julie Montana in the AVC athletic department at (661) 722-6300, extension 6440.

The Hunter Dodge Free Throw Challenge will look different – and more winnable – this year.

Raffle tickets will be sold, six for $5 and 12 for $10, at Marauder Gym.

Five tickets will be drawn for the chance to win $500 at halftime of the men’s game against Santa Monica.

"Let’s be honest, that halfcourt shot is a tough one to make," Chelette said. "So Wednesday night, we’ll pick five raffle tickets, and those five people will line up at the free throw line.

"Make the shot, go back to the end of the line. Miss, and you’re out. Last one standing goes home with $500. That’s not a bad night’s work for one free throw, now is it?"

Not when you’ve got caring neighbors like Hunter Dodge owners Tim and Tom Fuller.

They’ve parked Fiats – Pope Francis’ preferred ride, after all – in front of Marauder Gym in the past as part of the Coaches Vs. Cancer fundraising efforts.

The Valley’s American Cancer Society chapter points out that the number of Americans diagnosed with Cancer each day would fill Marauder Gym.

This is our chance to fill Marauder Gym with a cure.

Newton’s lost loved ones to cancer. So have the Fuller Brothers.

I lost my father, and his lovely bride got an early 92nd birthday present last week with facial cancer surgery that left a Southern Pacific right-of-way across her cheek.

The Marauders play more exciting games than the Lakers.

That’s not saying much these days, but Saturday’s desperate 70-68 thriller over Bakersfield, the state’s 12th-ranked team, was enough to want to come back Wednesday night.

A chance to beat Santa Monica and a chance to beat cancer for the price of one ticket.

Newton’s right. What a deal.

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