“Not How You Start But How You Finish”

Posted: January 24, 2018 in AVC Men's Basketball

When I opened the Antelope Valley Press this morning I enjoyed the article below about the Antelope Valley College basketball program.  The timing was great as AVC is heading out on the road today against Citrus College who all the experts say are going to “kick AVC’s Basketball Butt” thoroughly.  AVC is a 9.5 point underdog.

As I watch practice yesterday I noticed that AVC was working with exceptionally high energy.  One thing was clear to me was that AVC will need a COMPLETE TEAM EFFORT to win the game tonight.  AVC is as healthy as they are going be this time of the year.  Its a matter of finding out who wants this game more.  ,

Marauders off to great start in WSC

By: Brian Golden

Let’s face it.  At most community colleges, the typical reaction to the person in front of you in line is, get out of my way.  Let me get my class, my parking spot and my latte.
Which is what makes Antelope Valley College so remarkable.  There is a sense of duty, not angst, to the people who came before you in Marauder Nation.

With the ephemeral nature of life at a junior college, a record of 13-10 would most often be grounds for a raise. If not tenure.  But not for John Taylor.  After another typically thrilling victory at the buzzer, 71-69 on D’Mauria Jones’ cold-blooded inbounds jumper last Saturday night, we were reminded anew why Marauder Gym has been the Valley’s premier midwinter hotspot for two generations now.

Taylor, the AVC men’s coach who actually coached both Marauders men’s and women’s teams at once eight years ago, didn’t first react to the 3-0 record atop the Western State Conference East.  He sounded almost apologetic about that 13-10 overall ledger.
“You know, we don’t have as much depth this year as we’ve had in the past,” Coach Taylor said, almost sheepishly. “But this was a game that could have very easily gotten away from us, as some did earlier in the (non-conference) season.  “And it didn’t. That tells you something about how far these guys have come.”  If you need any other evidence, check the linen line above Marauder Gym’s west sideline.  The Marauder Men hung their second Elite Eight state tournament banner in three seasons last spring.

They have much different job descriptions tonight at Citrus.  The men confront the seventh-ranked team in the state, and fourth in Southern California. Circus is 20-3.
A team’s personality emerges as a season wears on.

Last weekend, Mr. Jones was Mr. Personality.  Against a team that had beaten AVC by a deuce Dec. 30 in tournament play by making one more play than the Marauders did, Jones took matters into his own hands.  Literally.  When a perimeter jumper was off the mark with 3.6 seconds to play, Jones seemed to flash out of nowhere to freeze a jointly held rebound with the possession arrow pointing AVC’s way.  Or was it pointing at Jones?
He took the inbounds and faded to the foul line for the jumper that triggered the final buzzer as it nestled in the twine.

There’s plenty of championship laundry(hanging in the AVC Gym) attesting to the fact that it’s not how you start, but how you finish.  It’s been that way for 28 years. These Marauders look determined to make it 29.

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