Golston and Marsing sign deals with 4-year programs
The Saddleback men’s basketball program announced this week that both Devin Golston and Nate Marsing have signed letters of intent at four-year programs. Golston will continue his career at Dominican University while Marsing will play his final three seasons at Westmont College.
Golston (left) transferred into the program this past season from Cypress College and finished fourth on the team in scoring for the season (6.9 ppg). He finished second on the team in both field goal percentage (.552) and free throw shooting (78%) while averaging 3.3 rebouncds-per-game. Golston will continue his career at Dominican University in San Rafael, California. The Penguins play an NCAA DII schedule in the Pacific West Conference
Marsing (right) transferred into the program from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, playing in 27 games for the Gauchos in 2011-12. He averaged 1.4 points-per-game playing behind two all-state selections. Marsing will finish his final three years of competition at Westmont College, located in Santa Barbara, California. The Warriors play an NAIA schedule in the Golden State Athletic Conference and finished this past season at 19-9.
After a tremendous stretch drive where the Saddleback men’s basketball team won 13-of-15 games heading into Wednesday night, the Gauchos saw their season come to an abrupt end after one of the worst shooting nights in program history. Saddleback shot just 24.5% from the field in falling to arch rival Riverside College, 50-41, to end the season 20-9.
Less than 24 hours after hearing that Antelope Valley had leaped in front of them as a playoff seed due to a rule that doesn’t allow teams to play teams from their own conference in the semifinal round of the playoffs, Saddleback was mysteriously forced to do the exact same thing and paid a heavy price as a result. The Gauchos had an off-night of historic proportions, making just 12-of-49 shots from the field in falling to a Tiger program that anticipated just about every offensive set Saddleback threw at them for the entire 40 minutes.
In a game where one would have thought Dean Smith was coaching against Bob Knight and running the four corners offense, Saddleback and Riverside combined to make just nine shots in the opening half, heading to the locker room deadlocked at 13-13. Unfortunately, Dean Smith and Bob Knight weren’t in the building on Wednesday night, neither was the four-corners offense, and the teams combined to make just 9-of-41 shots as Saddleback shot 17% from the field and Riverside 28%, including a combined 22 turnovers.
The first 10 minutes of the second half wasn’t much better, as both teams scored 10 points and were deadlocked at 23 heading into the stretch drive. Eventually Riverside would break through with consecutive three-pointers from Maurice Johns and Corey Walker in taking a 33-27 lead with 7:06 remaining on the clock and the Gauchos had no answers. The teams traded baskets until late in the game when Riverside extended the lead to 41-33 with 1:52 remaining. Saddleback continued to foul, but the Tigers made all their free throws down the stretch, making 8-of-9 in the closing minutes in turning back the Gauchos.
Darnell Taylor (above) scored 17 of the Saddleback 41 points, but made most of his points from the free throw line, finishing 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Saddleback missed its first 10 three-pointers on the night, and didn’t make good from beyond the arc until Josiah Thropay connected from the corner with only 1:42 remaining to cut the lead to 41-36.
Meanwhile, Riverside had an admirable second half, shooting 43% from the field, including 5-of-7 over the last 8:38 of the game. Dominique Lanier led the Tigers with nine points for the game while Mason Biddle chipped in eight points on a night where Riverside managed to win the game despite no player on their roster scoring in double-figures.
Saddleback finishes the season at 20-9 overall, and hopes to return nearly the entire team after playing the season with just two sophomores on the roster. Riverside improved to 17-10 with the win and will travel to Antelope Valley College for the regional finals on Saturday.
2/29/12: Basketball playoff scenario retraction
Due to a ruling on Tuesday afternoon, a potential playoff game between Saddleback College and Antelope Valley College on Saturday night would now be played at Antelope Valley, rather than Saddleback. Originally it was published on the Saddleback athletics site that the Gauchos would be hosting the potential playoff game, but has since been changed due to a technical ruling.
Although the state brackets were released on Monday, February 20, with Saddleback being given the No. 6 seed and Antelope Valley given the No. 7 seed, it was deemed by officials that Antelope Valley was in fact an original No. 5 seed at the seeding committee meeting, but was unable to play in their intended bracket due to a potential semifinal matchup with a team from their own conference (due to handbook rules). Saddleback is facing Riverside tonight in the very same round, despite being from the same conference.
Saddleback plays Riverside College tonight at the Saddleback Gymnasium at 7:00 PM while Antelope Valley College hosts El Camino College. One thing we know for sure is that if Saddleback was to win on Wednesday evening and Antelope Valley was to lose, the Gauchos would be hosting El Camino College in the regional finals on Saturday night. If Saddleback would lose tonight, their season would end.
2/26/12: Saddleback to host Riverside in regional semis
The Saddleback men’s basketball team will be at home for the remainder of regional play as two of the top three seeds in the Southern California playoffs lost on Saturday night. First up for the Gauchos is a date with arch rival Riverside on Wednesday night, as the Tigers knocked off Mt. San Jacinto in regional play.
Saddleback (20-8) and Riverside (16-10) will play at 7:00 PM on Wednesday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium after the Tigers knocked off No. 3 seed Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday night, 79-76, in overtime. If Saddleback wins, they will also host the regional finals next Saturday as a result of El Camino College upsetting No. 2 seed Mt. San Antonio College, 57-56, on Saturday night (RETRACTION ABOVE). El Camino will play Antelope Valley College on Wednesday night in the other semifinal.
The Gauchos have defeated Riverside on both occasions this season, winning at Riverside 74-65 on January 25, and then beating the Tigers for the conference crown 66-50 on February 17. In the two games combined, Saddleback has held a decisive advantage in rebounds, out-boarding the Tigers 77-48. In the first meeting, the Gauchos received 19 points and 10 rebounds from Josh Smith (right), shooting 60% from the field while holding Riverside to 38% shooting for the game. In game two, Darnell Taylor (bottom eft) scored 20 points while Riverside shot just 35% from the field as Saddleback claimed the Orange Empire Conference crown on the final night of the regular season.
Saddleback is looking to make an unprecedented fourth straight appearance in the state’s final four, which will be held at Cosumnes River College on March 10-11. In two of those three final four runs, the Gauchos played Riverside at some point. Saddleback defeated the Tigers 73-69 (OT) in the regional finals in 2009-10, en route to winning the state title. The Gauchos fell to Riverside in the state title game in 2008-09, 69-60, in overtime.
Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM on Wednesday night. For those that cannot make the game live, it will be broadcast on Saddleback’s own KSBR Radio (88.5 FM) with Kevin Wyart, Jack Naimo and Jack Fahrenthold calling the game.
2/24/12: Gauchos joust the Knights for first round win
The Saddleback men’s basketball team put on a solid display of defense in the second half of the opening round playoff game on Friday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos held San Diego City to 32% shooting in the second half in beating the Knights, 65-55.
Saddleback trailed by one at halftime (28-27) but came out with a sense of purpose in the final 20 minutes of play. The Gauchos outscored the Knights 25-17 over the first 13 minutes of the second half, but were unable to put away a gritty San Diego City team as a result of poor shooting from the free throw line. Saddleback made just 10-of-20 free throws over the first 18 minutes before making its final seven shots from the charity stripe. The Gauchos finished 20-for-35 from the free throw line on the night. Miles Green had an unusually cold night from the free throw line, making just 4-of-12 before being pulled towards the end of the game and replaced by AJ Brevard (pictured below), who made four straight free throws in the final minute of play.
San Diego City stayed close all night with the hot hand of Marvin Sykes, who led all scorers with 19 points on the night. Sykes, however, was shut down over the final seven minutes of the game, and the Knights could not find any consistent offense from anywhere else on the court.
Alex Worthen-Harris (pictured above) led Saddleback with 13 points and seven rebounds, dominating the much smaller San Diego City lineup on a night when Josh Smith played most of the game in foul trouble. Smith did manage three blocks in his 20 minutes on the court as the Gauchos held a 40-31 advantage in rebounds. In addition to Worthen-Harris and Smith, Darnell Taylor chipped in 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field while Green finished with 10 points.
Saddleback advanced to the second round of the playoffs where they will face the winner of Mt. San Jacinto College and Riverside City College on Wednesday evening. Mt. San Jacinto and Riverside play on Saturday night at MSJC. If Mt. San Jacinto wins the game on Saturday, the Gauchos will travel on Wednesday night. If RCC wins tomorrow night, the Gauchos will host the Tigers on Wednesday evening.
Saddleback improved to 20-8 on the season with the win and has now won 13 of its past 15 games since starting the season 7-6. San Diego City finishes the season at 20-8 with the loss.
2/24/12: KSBR (88.5 FM) to air both basketball playoff games
The Saddleback College basketball teams will both be in action this evening at different venues, but the folks at KSBR Radio are not letting that be a logistical problem. KSBR (88.5 FM) will broadcast both games live on the radio, with the women’s game starting at 5:30 PM and joining the men in progress at the completion of the women’s game.
The Saddleback women’s basketball team will open the playoffs at Chaffey College at 5:30 PM this evening, and KSBR will be on hand to give you all the play-by-play action live from Rancho Cucamonga. Kevin Wyart will fly solo with the call of the game as he brings you all the first round action of the Southern California playoffs.
The Gaucho men will start at 7:00 PM at the Saddleback Gymnasium against San Diego City College in the opening round of the men's playoffs, and the KSBR crew will join the game live at the completion of the women’s game. Jack Naimo, Jack Fahrenthold and Ken Warren will bring the action as the Gauchos open the playoffs against the Knights.
In addition, the audio of the game can be found on Cox Cable Channel 967 and on a tune-in radio app (under KSBR).
The Saddleback men’s basketball team enters the playoffs on Friday night as the No. 6 seed in Southern California after winning the Orange Empire Conference this past Friday. The Gauchos stole the show at the annual awards presentations on Monday, sweeping the major awards handed down by the conference.
Josh Smith (left) and Darnell Taylor (right) were both named Co-MVP of the conference after leading the Saddleback squad to the conference title. Head coach Andy Ground was named the conference coach-of-the-year while AJ Brevard and Alex Worthen-Harris were also named to the OEC First Team with Miles Green being named honorable mention.
Smith averaged 8.8 points-per-game and 6.0 rebounds-per-game, leading the entire conference in both blocked shots (43) and shooting percentage (.594). Taylor averaged 13.3 points-per-game during the season, shooting 51% from the field and an impressive 77% from the free throw line. He also averaged 4.6 rebounds-per-game and was second on the team with 82 assists.
Brevard (left) was named to the Orange Empire Conference First Team after scoring 10.7 points-per-game. He led the Gauchos in three-point shooting, making good on 36% of his shots from beyond the arc while making 76% of his free throws.
Joining Brevard on the first team was forward Alex Worthen-Harris (right), who put up 6.9 points-per-game and 5.3 rebounds-per-game while shooting 49% from the field and 70% from the free throw line.
Miles Green (below left) was named to the All-OEC Honorable Mention Team after leading the team in both assists (88) and steals (57) while averaging 6.5 points-per-game on 49% shooting.
Ground (right) won his second OEC title in four years in 2011-12, taking a team with zero returning starters and mostly freshman all the way to the conference title. Saddleback started the season just 7-6 after losing 2-of-3 in their own tournament in December, and finished up winning 12 of its last 14 games. After losing their opening game of conference play, the Gauchos went 10-1 down the stretch, losing only to Irvine Valley (22-6), the No. 10 seed in the Southern California playoffs.
Saddleback will open the playoffs on Friday evening at home against San Diego City College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.
2/20/12: Gauchos to host SDCC Knights in playoffs
The Saddleback men’s basketball team is seeded No. 6 for the Southern California regional playoffs and will open what they hope is a long run into the playoffs on Friday. The Gauchos will host San Diego City College, a program they defeated on opening day of the season.
Saddleback has made three straight final four appearances and is hoping to make it a fourth in the coming weeks. First up is a first round game against San Diego City, a team the Gauchos beat 84-65 on opening day. In that game, Darnell Taylor scored 26 points in leading the Gauchos on offense while they held a 52-31 advantage in rebounding. Saddleback was 20-for-25 from the free throw line in that game as Taylor was a perfect 12-for-12.
Saddleback captured the Orange Empire Conference title this past Friday with a 66-50 win over Riverside City College and finished the regular season 19-8, winning 12 of its final 14 games of the regular season. San Diego City finished the season 20-7, winning the Pacific Coast Conference (14-2). The Knights also come into the game hot, winning eight of their final nine games of the season.
Saddleback finished the regular season with the No. 5 RPI in the south while San Diego City had the No. 7 RPI at the end of the regular season. The winner of the game would likely face No. 3 seed Mt. San Jacinto College. The Eagles will play the winner of Los Angeles Harbor College and Riverside City College this coming Saturday. LA Harbor and Riverside play a play-in round game on Wednesday night.
Another interesting note is San Diego City College head coach Mitchell Charlens, who was a player for the Gauchos from 1994-96. Charlens played for two seasons for Saddleback before transferring to San Francisco State University.
Game time for Friday's playoff game is set for 7:00 p.m.
2/17/12: Defense wins championship in regular season finale
It’s an old adage, but it once again reared its head on Friday night as the Saddleback men’s basketball team won its first outright league title in three years with suffocating defense over arch-rival Riverside City College. The Gauchos frustrated the Tigers all night long, holding RCC to 35% shooting from the field in a conference-clinching 66-50 win.
Saddleback was absolutely suffocating at times, holding the Tigers to just 30% shooting in the first 20 minutes of play. The Gauchos led from start to finish, opening up an 8-0 lead in the game before entering the locker room up 23-16 at the break.
Saddleback was intimidating inside, finishing with a 9-0 lead in blocked shots. Josh Smith had six of his own, as Riverside had a hard time figuring out how to establish an inside game. Smith also had a game-high 10 rebounds in the game.
Meanwhile, Darnell Taylor broke down the Riverside defense by slashing to the basket for 20 points on the night. Taylor was 7-for-11 from the field, making 6-of-8 free throws. Saddleback was 18-of-25 from the free throw line for the night, making 16-of-21 in the final 20 minutes.
Saddleback improved to 19-8 overall on the season and 10-2 in Orange Empire Conference play. It was the first outright OEC title for the Gauchos since the 2008-09 season when they finished 29-8, losing to Riverside in the state title game.
Bernard Ireland led Riverside off the bench with 15 points. The Tigers finished the regular season at 14-10 overall and 8-4 in Orange Empire Conference play.
Saddleback entered the night with the No. 5 RPI in Southern California. The Gauchos will await a playoff announcement on Monday by the seeding committee. Stay tuned for a playoff announcement on Monday.
2/11/12: Gauchos clinch at least a tie for OEC title
With one game remaining in Orange Empire Conference play, the Saddleback men’s basketball team has at least tied for a share of the conference title after a 79-57 win over Orange Coast College on Friday night at Orange Coast. The Gauchos sprinted out to a 18-point halftime lead in cruising to a win over the Pirates.
Saddleback used a balanced attack on Friday, with six different players scoring at least nine points on the night in the convincing win. Once again the defense led the way, forcing Orange Coast into 18 turnovers while collecting 12 steals on the night. The defense held the Pirates to 31% shooting for the night, including 28% in the first 20 minutes of play.
Josh Smith (pictured) led the Gaucho attack, scoring 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Smith was also an intimidator in the defensive end, blocking eight shots. AJ Brevard and Nathan Marsing chipped in 11 points apiece while Miles Green had 10.
With the win, Saddleback improved to 18-8 overall and 9-2 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos clinched at least a share of the conference title with the win as a result of Irvine Valley defeating Riverside College on Friday night. Saddleback will enter next Friday’s regular season finale against Riverside with at least a one-game lead over the Tigers and Lasers. A win next Friday would give Saddleback the outright OEC title. Game time is set for 7:30 PM.
2/8/12: Gauchos exterminate the Hornets
The Saddleback men’s basketball team was on top of its game on Wednesday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium, playing suffocating defense and making it hard for Fullerton College to get anything going offensively. The Gauchos held the Hornets to 33% shooting for the night in beating Fullerton 71-55 to remain in first place in Orange Empire Conference play.
Saddleback and Fullerton entered the game on Wednesday night separated by just one game in the standings, but the Gauchos were intent on making it two games by the end of the night. Saddleback threw every pest-control product they had at the Hornets on defense, swarming Fullerton into a 16-for-49 shooting night. It got so bad for Fullerton that they managed just six field goals in the first half, failing to make a shot from the field for a period of 9:47. The Hornets then opened the second 20 minutes by not making a field goal for the first 7:59 of the period.
The game was very sloppy down the stretch, as both teams combined for 29 fouls in the final 20 minutes of play and shooting 40 free throws in the second half alone. Fullerton made 13-of-15 free throws in the final 20 minutes to keep the score respectable.
Saddleback improved to 17-8 overall and 8-2 in Orange Empire Conference play, holding on to first place for the time being. The Gauchos will hope to continue their winning ways on Friday night when they travel to Orange Coast College. Tip time is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
Fullerton fell to 9-15 and 6-4 with the loss.
2/3/12: Charity Doesn’t Work at Home for Gauchos
As a charity event it worked well, with Saddleback and Irvine Valley fans supporting the Coaches vs Cancer cause in raising money to help a local family as it struggles with a young son’s brain cancer. But as a basketball game it was a bit off, like Saddleback’s free-throw shooting from the charity stripe.
Saddleback shot under 50 percent from the foul line (17 of 35) in dropping a 72-64 decision to visiting Irvine Valley in the final contest of the President’s Cup and, more importantly, an important Orange Empire Conference battle.
Aaron Brevard scored 18 points and Josh Smith added 14 points with seven rebounds and three blocked shots, but Saddleback’s other starters were a woeful 8-of-21 at the foul line and 6-of-15 from the field in a game that was marked by some tenacious defense played by both teams.
The Gauchos (16-8, 7-2) had trouble stopping Irvine Valley’s Ramon Mejia who tallied a game-high 21 points. The Lasers (18-6, 5-3) had trouble making three-point shots (1 of 10) but had little trouble at the foul line, making 72 percent of their shots (23 of 32). Irvine Valley led the entire game, building a seven point lead in the first half and extending that lead to 11 points in the second half with 6:02 to play. Saddleback was able to cut its deficit to five points but would be able to get no closer than that as the Lasers ‘ lead again ballooned up to 10 points.
The President’s Cup is a friendly wager between the two college presidents about who has the superior basketball programs. Irvine Valley wins the tiebreaker and retains the President’s Cup for a second year.
Gritty defense has been a hallmark of the Andy Ground era at Saddleback College, so it was no surprise when the Gauchos showed up with a sense of purpose in the defensive end with their head coach looking for his 100th career win. Saddleback responded with a vicious effort, holding Santa Ana to 27% shooting for the night in a 72-47 win over the Dons.
Saddleback jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead with Santa Ana shooting just 29% over the first 20 minutes of play. Things went from bad to worse for the Dons, who shot just 25% in the second half, making only 1-of-7 shots from three-point range. Santa Ana scored just 10 points between the 6:10 mark of the first half and the 8:53 mark of the second half, as the Saddleback defense was smothering at times.
In the offensive zone, AJ Brevard (pictured left) and Josh Smith (pictured right) both scored 17 points apiece as the Gauchos shot 46% from the field for the night. Smith finished the night with a double-double, making 5-of-8 shots from the field while collecting 10 rebounds.
For Saddleback (15-7, 6-1), it was the sixth straight win since losing to Santa Ana (8-12, 2-5) in the opener of Orange Empire Conference play on January 4. The Gauchos will hope to keep the streak alive when they travel to Cypress College next Wednesday night. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
For Ground, it was his 100th win in 127 tries. He is the quickest coach to accumulate 100 wins in Saddleback men’s basketball history. His .787 winning percentage is second only to Bill Mulligan (.814), who coached from 1976 to 1980.
1/26/12: Gauchos defeat RCC and still lead the OEC
The Saddleback men’s basketball team had a difficult test on Wednesday night when it traveled to Riverside to take on a Tiger program that always gives the Gauchos headaches. Saddleback passed the test with flying colors, defeating Riverside 74-65 to remain in first place in conference play.
Saddleback trailed early in the second half 36-35 before they went on an 18-1 run over a 6:55 span, pulling ahead of the Tigers 55-37 with just 9:32 remaining in the game. Josh Smith (pictured), Miles Green and Darnell Taylor led the spark as the Gauchos shot 64% from the field in the second half.
Smith finished with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. He also led both teams with 10 rebounds, and was stellar in the defensive end in recording three steals. Green was nearly his equal, scoring 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including making both of his three-point attempts for the night. Taylor finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, leading the Gauchos with three assists on the night.
Saddleback finished a red-hot 60% from the field for the night, as Riverside could not find a way to get stops in the defensive end. The Gauchos also made things difficult for the Tigers on offense, holding Riverside to 19-for-49 shooting on the night (39%).
With the win, Saddleback (14-7, 5-1) now has a one-game lead in Orange Empire Conference play over both Riverside and Fullerton College. The Gauchos now have a two-game lead over arch rival Irvine Valley College, who fell to Fullerton last night (78-76).
Saddleback will play again on Friday night at home when they host Santa Ana College. The Gauchos lost to the Dons (44-47) in the opening game of OEC play on January 4, and have not lost a game since that time. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM.
1/24/12: Site and times of RCC game have changed
The site and times have changed for Saddleback’s men’s and women’s basketball games against Riverside City College on Wednesday, January 25th, as the Tigers’ gymnasium is still being renovated. All of Riverside’s home games are being played at Cal Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Avenue, in Riverside.
The men’s game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. with the women’s game to follow at 8:30 p.m. These game times are an hour later and were determined by Cal Baptist University officials.
1/18/12: Gauchos cruise past Pirates to remain in first place
The Saddleback men’s basketball team opened up a quick lead and never looked back in defeating Orange Coast College, 86-68, on Wednesday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos had a 20-point lead at halftime in holding on to first place in the Orange Empire Conference.
Saddleback looked like a team on a mission in the first half and didn’t let off the gas pedal in the second. The Gauchos were tenacious on defense, forcing the Pirates into 14 first-half turnovers while shooting 50% from the field in holding a 46-26 lead at the intermission. Things didn’t get any easier for Orange Coast in the second half as the Saddleback defense blocked six Pirate shots, opening up a 26-point lead with under four minutes remaining in the game before emptying the bench.
Josh Smith had a big night for Saddleback, scoring 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting. He was also dominant in the defensive end, blocking four Pirate shots while leading the Gauchos with nine rebounds. Miles Green chipped in 13 points while Darnell Taylor added 12 as the Gauchos shot 55% from the field for the game and 65% in the second half.
Saddleback improved to 13-7 on the season and 4-1 in Orange Empire Conference play with the win. The Gauchos still sit in first place in conference play and will have the rest of the week off before heading to rival Riverside College next Wednesday night. Game time is set for 5:30 PM at Cal Baptist University.
Brevard stings the Hornets for 36 in win at Fullerton
For the second straight game, freshman guard AJ Brevard has been the catalyst for a win in men’s basketball in leading the Gauchos to a win in Orange Empire Conference play. On Friday night, Brevard scored 36 points as Saddleback downed Fullerton College, 83-71.
Brevard was red hot from three-point range, making 6-of-8 from downtown in leading the Gaucho attack on offense. Saddleback took the lead in the first minute of the game and never relinquished it the rest of the way.
In addition, Saddleback was dominant on the glass, holding a 48-26 advantage in rebounding in improving to 12-7 overall and 3-1 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos now hold a half game lead in OEC play after riverside lost to Santa Ana College on Friday night.
Saddleback will host Orange Coast College next Wednesday night. Tip time is set for 5:30 PM.
The 36 points by Brevard was just nine points off the program record set by Kevin McGree back in 1979-80. It was the best single-game scoring performance for a Gaucho since 1995-96, when former Saddleback legend Anthony Carter scored 44 points against Southwestern College.
1/12/12: Gauchos win 2-OT thriller at No. 6 IVC
The President’s Cup started out with a bang on Wednesday night with Saddleback defeating inter-district rival Irvine Valley College, 81-78, in double overtime at Irvine Valley. The Gauchos nailed a shot at the buzzer of regulation to send the game into extra frames before outlasting the Lasers, who came into the game rated No. 6 in the state.
Saddleback held a six-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 13 points with just over six minutes remaining in the game before things got tight down the stretch. Irvine Valley went on a 12-0 run from that point on, closing the gap to one point with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. The Gauchos then held a 59-55 advantage when IVC guard Kalob Hatcher cut the lead to one point with a three-point play with 58 seconds remaining. IVC would eventually take the lead with 12 seconds remaining and things would get even more ominous for the Gauchos after AJ Brevard (pictured left) missed a jumper with nine seconds remaining, leaving Saddleback with no other options other than to foul the Lasers. IVC guard Ramon Mejia appeared to put the final nail in the coffin for IVC when he nailed both free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Lasers a 62-59 lead. Saddleback, however, was not about to be denied as Devin Golston (pictured right) took the inbound pass and found Josiah Thropay open on the left side for a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Saddleback once again led by as many as four points in the first overtime before IVC would battle back, giving the partisan crowd something to cheer about. With Saddleback leading 69-67 in the final seconds, Lasers’ guard Jordan Hamamoto drove to the basket and completed a layup with five seconds remaining, sending the game to yet another overtime period.
The second overtime was close throughout, as both teams traded baskets with IVC eventually taking a 78-77 lead with just under a minute remaining. The Lasers, however, would go scoreless from that point forward, watching their No. 6 state ranking go down the drain as Saddleback would get key free throws from Brevard and Golston in finishing them off, 81-78.
Brevard led the Saddleback attack with 24 points, making good on 8-of-11 free throws. The Gauchos were lethal from the charity stripe all night, making 29-of-36 (80.6%) in turning back the Lasers. Darnell Taylor chipped in 18 points of his own while Josh Smith led Saddleback with eight rebounds for the game. Both teams combined for 53 fouls in the game.
Saddleback improved to 11-7 overall and 2-1 in Orange Empire Conference play with the win. The Gauchos will travel to Fullerton College on Friday night to take on the 4-12 Hornets. Game time is set for 5:30 PM.
IVC fell to 14-4 overall and 1-1 in OEC play with the loss. The Lasers will hos Orange Coast College on Friday evening.
1/6/12: Men’s basketball bounces back with convincing win
Two nights after a disappointing loss in their Orange Empire Conference opener, the Saddleback men’s basketball bounced back with a convincing 73-55 win over Cypress College at the Saddleback Gymnasium. Darnell Taylor scored 27 points as the Gauchos broke open a close game midway through the second half.
Saddleback led 40-36 just four minutes into the second half before going on a 22-6 run to blow open the game. Cypress failed to score a field goal for 10:08 seconds, making good on a handful of free throws over that span. The Gaucho defense held Cypress to 30% shooting in the second half.
Taylor finished 8-for-14 from the field, making good on 11-of-13 free throws. He was also solid in the defensive end, leading the team with three steals and finishing with six rebounds.
Saddleback dominated the game on the glass, outrebounding the Chargers 42-27 for the night. Devin Golston led the Gauchos with 11 rebounds while Alex Worthen-Harris chipped in six.
Saddleback improved to 10-7 overall on the season with the win, and evened their conference record at 1-1. The Gauchos will play again next Wednesday at Irvine Valley College. Tipoff is set for 5:30 PM.
1/5/12: Men’s basketball falls in OEC opener
The men’s basketball team opened up Orange Empire Conference play on Wednesday night at Santa Ana College, and for the first 22 minutes it looked as if it the Gauchos would cruise to a comfortable victory. Saddleback, however, couldn’t find the bottom of the net in the second held as the Dons came back to beat the cold-shooting Gauchos, 47-44.
Saddleback had things in control two minutes into the second half, holding a 26-13 lead after forcing Santa Ana into 23% shooting from the field during the first 22 minutes of play. The Gauchos, however, were even worse, shooting just 21% from the field in the second half in opening OEC play with a disappointing loss after heading into the game with big wins over El Camino College and Mt. San Antonio College in non-conference play.
Saddleback had its roughest stretch of the season in the second half, scoring just four points over a span of 9:36. After a Josh Smith free throw gave the Gauchos a 26-13 lead at 18:47 of the second frame, Saddleback went just 2-for-11 from the field before Smith scored again at 9:21 of the second half to give Saddleback a 32-31 lead. Smith would finish with nine points on a night when Darnell Taylor (pictured) led the Gauchos with 14 points.
Saddleback struggled mightily from 3-point range, making just 2-of-14 shots all night, including a 1-for-9 game from AJ Brevard. The Gauchos didn’t help their cause at the free throw line, making only 10-of-22 shots from the charity stripe.
Saddleback fell to 9-7 overall with the loss, and will look to regroup on Friday night when they host Cypress College. Game time is set for 5:30 PM.
Santa Ana improved to 7-7 overall with the win.
12/15/11: Men’s basketball falls in Brummel opener
The Saddleback men’s basketball team has been going through a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks and it continued on Thursday night in the opening game of the Bill Brummel Classic. Saddleback battled back from a 20-point deficit before falling to Long Beach City College, 74-72.
For the second straight week, Saddleback was knocked into the consolation bracket of a tournament in their own building. The Gauchos played a rugged first 27 minutes, falling behind 50-30 at one point before storming back to make it a game. Saddleback closed the gap to 72-70 with 1:01 remaining in the game, but that is as close as they would get. Long Beach City would ice the game at the free throw line in the closing minute. Tyler Tuliau made two free throws with 24.8 seconds on the clock to push the lead to 74-70. Darren Hechanova would make a late basket for Saddleback with just 1.8 seconds remaining to close the gap to 74-72, but an inbound pass would ice the game for the Vikings, who won their first game of the season in improving to 1-8.
Saddleback shot 64% in the second half, making 18-of-28 shots in making a game of it. AJ Brevard led the attack, scoring 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. The Gauchos also picked up the defensive pressure in the second half, forcing Long Beach into an 11-for-33 performance from the field in the second half, also holding a 20-17 advantage on the glass in the final 20 minutes.
Saddleback fell to 7-6 with the loss, and will now face Orange Empire Conference foe Cypress College in the consolation bracket. The Gauchos and Chargers are scheduled to tip off at 3:00 PM.
Other winners on day one included La Jolla Prep defeating LA Trade Tech, 93-79, El Camino over Irvine Valley, 52-49, and Mt. San Jacinto over Cypress, 67-51.
12/9/11: Men’s basketball can’t hold lead in tourney opener
The Saddleback men’s basketball team is hosting one of the top tournaments in the state this weekend, as a number of high-profile teams are in town to showcase their skills. The Gauchos opened up with a 68-67 loss to Ventura College after leading by as many as 13 points with under eight minutes remaining in the game.
Saddleback looked like a team on a mission for the first 32 minutes, leading 64-51 with the exclamation point being a powerful slam dunk from Josh Smith with 7:23 remaining. Unfortunately, from that point forward, the Gauchos finished 1-for-8 from the field and didn’t score another point until 1:31 left on the clock, also missing 2-of-3 free throws in the final minutes.
Ventura would eventually complete the comeback with just five seconds remaining in the game when Zalmico Harmon knocked down a jumper to give the Pirates their first lead since the 8:24 mark of the first half. Saddleback would take a timeout with three seconds remaining, but a quick turnover following the timeout would seal their fate, dropping them into the consolation bracket where they will face Fullerton College on Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM.
Saddleback was led by Darnell Taylor (upper left), who finished with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field. Alex Worthen-Harris (right) led the Gauchos with nine rebounds for the night, also finishing with 11 points.
Austin Ramliak had a big night for Ventura, with a game-high 25 points. Ventura will face Santa Rosa College in the tournament semifinals on Friday evening at 7:00 PM. Santa Rosa was a 77-67 winner over Fullerton.
In other games on Thursday, Citrus College defeated Antelope Valley College 83-73 in the opening game of the tournament and Mt. San Antonio College defeated Riverside City College 81-75 in game two.
11/22/11: Men’s basketball 4-1 after latest win
The Saddleback men’s basketball team improved to 4-1 on the season with a 77-53 win over College of the Canyons on Tuesday evening at Canyons. Four Gauchos scored in double-figures as the Saddleback defense held the Cougars to 27% shooting from the field.
Darnell Taylor (left) led the offensive attack for the Gauchos, scoring 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field as Saddleback improved to 4-1 on the 2011-12 campaign. Devin Gholston added 12 points and AJ Brevard and Daren Hechanova both added 10 points apiece as Saddleback blew the game open in the second half after leading by seven at the intermission.
The Gaucho defense was stellar, forcing Canyons into 19 turnovers while picking up 13 steals in holding the Cougars to 15-for-55 shooting on the night. Saddleback also blocked four shots as 11 players broke into the scoring column, while Josh Smith led the Gauchos with six rebounds.
Saddleback will play again in the Grossmont College Tournament next Friday afternoon when they open the tournament against Los Angeles Southwest College at 2:00 PM. The Gauchos were rated No. 7 in the state in the latest CCCMBCA poll released on November 14.
11/18/11: Smith leads Gauchos to win in Fullerton opener
Saddleback improved to 2-0 on the season with a 78-75 win over College of the Desert on Thursday in the opener of the Fullerton College Tournament. Josh Smith (left) led the way for the Gauchos, finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds as Saddleback advanced to the tournament semifinals where they will meet Barstow College.
Smith finished 5-of-10 from the field and 10-of-14 from the free throw line as the Gauchos won the battle on the glass for a second straight game. Darnell Taylor chipped in 16 points while Daren Hechanova and Alex Worthen-Harris both finished with 12 points apiece in the wining effort.
Saddleback made it to the free throw line 43 times, making 25 on a night when the Roadrunners committed 32 personal fouls. The Gauchos had an uncharacteristic 24 turnovers on the night, but made up for it with a 36-32 advantage on the boards in improving to 2-0 on the season.
Saddleback will play Barstow on Friday evening at 6:00 in the tournament semifinals. The other semifinal game features Rio Hondo College versus Chaffey College.
11/7/11: Gauchos pull away from San Diego City in season opener
The Saddleback men’s basketball team got 26 points and nine rebounds from freshman Darnell Taylor (left) in beating San Diego City College, 84-65, in the season opener on Monday at the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos went on an 18-6 run late in the game to close the door, opening the 2011-12 campaign on a high note.
Taylor finished 7-for-12 from the field, and was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line in scoring 26 points in just 24 minutes on the court. He also led Saddleback with four assists and two steals, finishing one rebound behind sophomore Devin Golston, who led the Gauchos with 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
Saddleback was dominant on the glass, winning the rebound battle 52-31 over the Knights in opening the season at 1-0. The Gauchos shot 48% from the field, making 4-of-9 from three-point range on the night.
Saddleback will play again at the Fullerton College Tournament, starting next Thursday.
11/2/11: Former Gaucho dominates first exhibition game
Former Saddleback basketball player Wendell Faines is off to a fast start at the next level after leading the Gauchos to the state tournament for two straight seasons. Faines opened his career at the University of Idaho by leading the Vandals to a win in an exhibition game against Evergreen State.
Faines was a pillar inside for Saddleback the past two seasons, leading the Gauchos back to the state tournament this past season after being a part of the state championship team the year before. He transferred to the University of Idaho, who plays in the Western Athletic Conference.
Faines scored 19 points with six rebounds and five blocked shots in his opening game for Idaho on Friday night. What made the performance more impressive was that Faines did not start the game, and played only 19 minutes, finishing 8-of-11 from the field.
Faines and the Vandals will have one more exhibition game this Saturday before opening the regular season at Long Beach State on November 12.
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