“I Like Our Chances”

Posted: February 23, 2017 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2016-17, Playoffs
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AVC played well in its 88-80 win over Santa Monica in the first round of its state playoff game.  Was it as good as they can play?  No.  Too many turn overs and ice cold from beyond the three point arc but high energy on both ends of the court.  They stuck to their game plan and won.

AVC is heading to Saddleback College on Saturday who is known for their strict self-control on the floor, lack of mistakes and a slow down offense and tight defense.  AVC is going to have to be patience and play high energy on both ends of the court and as Coach Taylor said in the post game interview, “If we play mentally and physically tough, I like our chances."


AVC men move on

By: John Sanders

LANCASTER – Nobody said playoff basketball was going to be easy.

That’s why it’s playoff basketball.

And for 34 minutes Santa Monica College gave the Antelope Valley College men’s basketball team all it could handle.

But in the end the Marauders were just too talented and held on to a hard-fought 89-80 victory over the Corsairs, in the opening round of state playoffs at Marauder Gymnasium.

"I thought we practiced hard this week and it carried over to the game," AVC head coach John Taylor said. "I thought we should have been up more at halftime and we’ve had trouble finishing off games, but today we finished well."

For the first 10 minutes of the game the Corsairs (13-14) had all the momentum as they built 26-19 lead, their largest of the game, following a conventional 3-point play. AVC (20-10) responded with a 13-0 run of its own to grab a 32-26 lead.

During that stretch Charles Hall took three consecutive charging fouls on Santa Monica players helping ignite the crowd and keep the momentum for the Marauders.

"We started slow, but we were able to pick up the tempo. We almost slipped up at the end like we have all season. When we’re up nine or 10 points we have to put out foot on their neck," said Hall, who finished with 10 points and six assists. "There’s definitely been a different feel (in the locker room). We realize that winning is the most important part than any individual stats. This is good momentum going into Saddleback."

The Marauders will travel to Saddleback College (24-4) on Saturday for a second round game. AVC lost to Saddleback, 82-80, earlier this season at Marauder Gymnasium.

The Marauders led 39-30, their largest lead of the game at the time, with 1:34 remaining in the first half and led 42-35 at halftime.

Jailen Gill had one of his best games of the season as the sophomore forward scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. D’Mauria Jones finished with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Cory Dollarhide added 15 points for AVC,

"We came out with a lot of energy. I thought we were very focused," said Gill. "We stuck to the game plan. It’s a big win, but it’s just on to the next game. We had a few little mistakes out there that we have to fix. Overall I thought we controlled the game most of the time. We needed to keep our foot on the gas."

The Marauders held the Corsairs at arm’s distance, however, they could never really put them away. A few times in the second half AVC would get up by as many as eight points only to see its lead trimmed as Santa Monica always brought the game to within two or three points.

AVC led 74-69, however, a 3-pointer by the Corsairs cut the lead to 74-72. The Marauders used another run of 10-4 extending its lead to 84-76. On the final play of that run, Hall found Gill on an out of bounds play that resulted in an alley-oop monster dunk. Hall connected with Gill on two other alley-oop dunks earlier in the game.

"I’m pleased with the victory. We got to 20 wins," Taylor said. "I thought the guys came ready to play. I thought Jailen (Gill) kept us together tonight, especially with his rebounding."

When asked about his next opponent.

"We’re up for the challenge," Taylor said. "If we play mentally and physically tough, I like our chances."

Dollarhide sank three straight free throws, after a busted play, giving the Marauders an 87-76 lead. The Marauders took their largest lead of the game, 89-76, following two more free throws from Hall.

sports@avpress.com

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