AVC Basketball Looks to Grab the Conference Championships Tonight

Posted: February 14, 2018 in AVC Men's Basketball

The men’s basketball teams have lost to Citrus twice this year and now have the chance to get revenge tonight at AV gym with a win that could give them another conference championship banner…P.S. the guys are running out of room to hang those banners.

Looking at the day they are playing on, Valentine’s Day/ Ash Wednesday, the team would love to give a happy Valentines present to themselves and their fans and Ash Wednesday to Citrus.

The AVC team is as healthy as they have been during the conference season, playing at home and way they practiced this past couple of days shows that they maybe playing as good as they have all season.  Poise Baby!

Marauders look to create Valentine happiness

By: An Golden…AV Press

It’s Valentine’s Day.  And it’s Ash Wednesday.  There’s a curious congruence to it.
The biggest Valentine in the Valley tonight will be the 94-by-50 chunk of hardwood named Newton Chelette Court in Marauder Gym.  Both the Antelope Valley College men and women will be playing for Western State Conference East basketball championships when they take on Citrus College.

It’s hard to believe that a two-year school, where they might as well have a revolving door at the scorer’s table, could build the enduring legacy of basketball excellence that AVC has.  But the Marauder men and women have.  It’s a whole new twist on the concept of spoiler alert.

Ho-hum, AVC is playing for more basketball glory, and a lengthening of the linen line above Marauder Gym’s west sideline.  We are so spoiled.  No one should take for granted what men’s coach John Taylor and women’s coach Barry Green and their staffs have done.  This is at least four years in a row that both the Marauder men and women are playing their best basketball precisely when it matters most, in February.  Managing biorhythms to peak in mid-February isn’t as easy as AVC has been making it look.

There were lots of ash Wednesdays – and Saturdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays – at the end of tournament season in December.  Then again, one man’s ash is another man’s gray.  As in Marauder maroon and gray.  Saturday night at Victor Valley, it would have been easy to overlook the overmatched Rams (1-7 in conference).
Instead AVC took care of business, with all due respect to their opponents, 76-69.
“We were just so focused,” Osi Nwachukwu told AVC’s John Sanders after posting a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. “We haven’t been this focused all season. We have to come out like this next game.”  Greg Floyd came off the bench to score 15 points and claim 13 rebounds.

It;s interesting that Nwachukwu would say that.  Earlier this season, he was so focused on securing a rebound that he didn’t notice an opponent low-bridging him. He fell flat onto the hardwood with a sickening thud.  Osi hobbled off the floor with his upper and lower body contorted at so many angles that he resembled a geometry problem.
He tried to play on before the pain and the potential prognosis double-teamed him.
His first painkiller was a victory on the scoreboard.  While his back was sore, his heart was stout.

Without it needing to be said in so many words, these Marauder men sense, and grasp, that they are something bigger than their own lines in the boxscore.  They understand that while AVC certainly isn’t a four-year school, it’s more than a two-year experience.  Much more.  They want passionately to write the latest chapter.

Shantanel Bivens turned the Marauder women’s box score of Saturday’s 67-28 victory into a personal diary with 21 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots, three assists and two steals.  AVC’s 6-foot-1 sophomore center could do that every night, but that’s not what AVC needs to win.  Bivens has brought her hardhat to battle taller front lines and gladly sacrificed stats for wins this year.

There’s still a lot of the playgrounds of her Maryland youth in Deja Smith’s ability to control a game’s flow and light up opponents off the dribble at will.
Like Bivens and her other teammates, she plays for her sisters, not herself.
It’s why the AVC women could give themselves a very Happy Valentine.

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