The 2009 Brummel Classic is set in stone and the opening round games have been decided. The Gauchos will open against Long Beach City College in a tournament that features two other Orange Empire Conference foes and three teams that were rated in the top-25 in the state last season.
Saddleback will look to defend its Brummel Classic crown after taking the title in 2008 when they defeated Schoolcraft College (MI), San Bernadino Valley College and Mt. San Jacinto College. If they are going to defend, however, they will need to beat some solid programs along the way.
“It is a very balanced tournament this season, with some of the top programs in the state,” Saddleback head coach Andy Ground said. “It should send us into the holidays with a good idea of where we stand as a team.”
The Gauchos will open up against a Long Beach City program that finished 15-14 in 2008-09 and has a new head coach in Barry Barnes. If successful on the opening day, Saddleback would face the winner of the Santa Monica College/Cypress College matchup in the semifinals.
The other bracket pits OEC rival Irvine Valley College versus Los Angeles Trade Tech in the opening game of the tournament to be followed by Miramar College versus San Bernadino Valley in the other quarterfinal. Miramar finished 23-7 in 2008-09 and was rated No. 24 in the final state RPI rankings while San Bernadino was rated No. 9, finishing 25-8.
The 2009 Brummel Classic gets underway on Thursday, December 17, with Irvine Valley tipping off against LA Trade Tech at 1:00 PM. The Gauchos will play the last quarterfinal game of the day at 7:00 PM.
A third member of the 2008-09 Saddleback men’s basketball team has signed a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at a 4-year university as forward Billy Azizi will play at Vanguard University. Azizi joins forward Kevin Menner and guard Franklin Session from a team that came within an eyelash of a state title.
Azizi (6-foot-6, 225 lbs.) averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and led the Gauchos for the season with a .527 field goal percentage. He averaged 15.4 minutes per game and had a season-high 14 points against Citrus College on December 11 and again equaled that number against San Diego City College on December 31.
Azizi was the eldest member of the 2008-09 team, as he played for the Afghanistan National Team after graduating from Eden Prarie High School (MN). The 23-year old will transfer to Vanguard University, which is part of the Golden State Athletic Conference and a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Azizi joins Kevin Menner (Cal State Northridge) and Franklin Session (Weber State) as Gauchos moving on to 4-year universities from the 2008-09 team.
Saddleback finished the 2008-09 season at 29-8 overall and 10-2 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos captured the OEC title and lost to Riverside Community College, 69-60 (OT), in the state title game on March 15.
Saddleback basketball will be on display for all to see over the next two weeks as former Gaucho Anthony Carter will face the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a Denver Nuggets team in the Western Conference finals. Carter was part of two Saddleback teams from 1994-96 that had consecutive 27-6 finishes, leading the Gauchos to the state tournament in 1995-96.
Carter is part of a Denver nuggets team that has cruised through two rounds of the NBA Western Conference playoffs, beating both New Orleans and Dallas in five games. Carter himself has averaged 3.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists-per-game coming off the bench for the Nuggets, spelling Chauncey Billups.
Carter was a two-time Orange Empire Conference co-MVP, leading the Gauchos to consecutive conference co-championships. He averaged 23.5 points-per-game at Saddleback in 58 games, including 26.9 a game during his sophomore season.
Carter is still the career points leader at Saddleback with 1,530 points and was inducted into the Saddleback Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. He had the second best single game performance in Gauchos history when he scored 44 points against Southwestern College in 1995. Carter also holds records for most free throws made and most free throws attempted in a season when he finished 209-for-278 for the season in 1995-96.
A second member of the 2008-09 Saddleback men’s basketball team is headed to a four-year university as the basketball office announced the commitment of small forward Kevin Menner to Cal State Northridge. Menner joins Franklin Session in moving on to the next level as Session committed to Weber State in late April.
Menner led the team in scoring with 19.3 points per game and was second on the team in rebounds (7.0) and steals (0.8). He was a First Team All-Orange Empire Conference selection following the season and played a vital role in the Gauchos making it to the state title game, averaging 23.6 points per game in the playoffs.
"Cal State Northridge is getting a kid that can get hot and score in bunches," Saddleback head coach Andy Ground said. "He has great offensive skills."
Menner graduated from Lincoln Park High School in New York and played a season at Ventura College before joining the Saddleback team for the 2008-09 season.
Menner and the Gauchos finished 29-8 in 2008-09, losing to Riverside Community College, 69-60 (OT), in the state title game.
Cal State Northridge plays in the Big West Conference and made it to the NCAA Tournament this past season, losing to Memphis, 81-70, in the first round.
The men’s basketball team had a special season in 2008-09, and guard Franklin Session was a big part of the success. The Orange Empire Conference MVP signed a letter of intent on Monday to continue his basketball career in the Big Sky Conference at Weber State.
Session was a part of a Saddleback team that came within an eyelash of winning the state title, falling to Riverside in overtime in the championship game. His 14.6 points and 10.5 rebounds-per-game earned him conference Most Valuable Player recognition following the regular season.
Session attended Los Angeles Jordan High School and played a season at Irvine Valley College under Andy Ground before following Ground to Saddleback for the 2008-09 season. Coach Ground says Session is a rare talent at the junior college level.
“He came to play every day and never left anything in the tank,” Ground said. “Weber State is getting a winner and a kid that makes others around him better.”
The folks at Weber State are excited about the commitment of Session, as head coach Randy Rahe had this to say on the Weber State web site.
"We are excited with Franklin’s decision to join the Weber State family," Rahe said. "We have been recruiting him for quite some time and feel he has the ability to make a positive impact on our team next season. Franklin is very athletic player who has tremendous quickness and speed. He has a high skill level and has the ability to affect the game in a lot of ways. Though he’s only 6-2, 170, our fans are going to be impressed with his rebounding skills and his uncanny ability to find the ball when it is missed. Franklin loves to compete and is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. He will be a valuable addition to our program."
The Saddleback Gauchos had high hopes to begin the day as they were looking for their second state title in the past eight years. In the end, the Gauchos had to settle for second best as they went cold from the floor in overtime, losing to conference foe Riverside, 69-60.
Saddleback batted shooting woes throughout the weekend but on Sunday in Fresno, they were unable to overcome their Achilles heel. The Gauchos ran into the hot hand of the Riverside Tigers and had to settle as the state runner-up for 2008-09.
Saddleback appeared to have the momentum early on when they took a lead but it was short-lived. Riverside surged past the Gauchos and led 34-22 at halftime as Saddleback only shot 32% from the field in the first 20 minutes. Things would go from bad to worse in the first eight minutes of the second half as Riverside caught fire, opening up an 18-point lead with under 12 minutes to play.
Saddleback, however, didn’t get to the title game by giving up at any point during the season and Sunday would be no different. The Gauchos made a 26-8 run, including a12-2 run to close the game, tying the game at 58-58 with 20 seconds remaining on the clock. Riverside appeared to nearly give the game away when they threw the ensuing inbounds pass away, giving Saddleback a last chance to win the game in regulation. The Gauchos final shot was off the mark and the two teams headed to overtime, where the final missed shot of regulation would be a sign of things to come.
The two teams broke huddle for overtime with Saddleback holding all the momentum, but Riverside quickly snatched it back, scoring the first 10 points in overtime as the Gauchos went ice cold in the final five minutes. Saddleback finished 1-for-10 from the field in overtime with the lone points in overtime coming on a layup by Kevin Menner with 14 seconds remaining in the extra frame. Meanwhile, the Tigers caught fire from the free throw line, making 7-of-8 in closing out the Gauchos.
Riverside was led by David Norris, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in being named tournament MVP. The Gauchos were led offensively by Menner with 22 points. Franklin Session (pictured right) led Saddleback with 16 rebounds but it was Riverside that had a heavy advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Gauchos 55-45 for the day.
Saddleback finishes at 29-8 on the season and it was the sixth time the Gauchos had reached the state tournament in the past nine years. It was the first Riverside team to capture a men’s basketball state title since 1966, when Jerry Tarkanian was the coach of the Tigers. Riverside finishes the season at 30-7, and most importantly, holding the first place hardware.
Both Kevin Menner and Franklin Session were named to the all tournament team following the game. Menner averaged 21 points-per-game in the tournament while Session averaged 13.3 rebounds.
Congratulations to the Saddleback Gauchos, state runner-up for 2008-09! They gave us a lot of great moments to remember.
The Saddleback Gauchos showed their resilience with a thrilling 62-59 overtime win over San Joaquin Delta College in the state semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Fresno, California. The Gauchos received 15 points and 13 rebounds from Franklin Session (pictured), but it was Terrell Mack’s 3-point basket with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime that lifted Saddleback to a spot in the state title game on Sunday against Riverside College.
The Gauchos faced nearly impossible odds when trailing by four points with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. At that point, Delta committed two unthinkable fouls to give Saddleback a puncher’s chance. The first came on a 3-point shot by Kyle Wallace, who went to the line and made 2-of-3 free throws to draw within two. After the miss by Wallace on the last free throw, Saddleback immediately fouled Calvin Otiono, sending him to the free throw line. After missing the first free throw, Otiono made the second free throw to give the Mustangs a three point lead with just over six seconds remaining in the game. The Gauchos then inbounded the ball to Session who quickly moved the ball up the court to try another 3-pointer. He missed the shot, but once again Delta was called for a foul in the act of shooting, sending Session to the line with a chance to tie the game. Session proceeded to make the first two free throws to draw within one when the Mustangs called a timeout to try and ice the sensational sophomore. To no avail, Session drained the last free throw and Delta’s last-second shot came up short to send the game to overtime.
The second overtime had much the same flavor as the Mustangs led throughout and at one point had a four-point lead. Making matters worse was Saddleback’s leading scorer on the season, Kevin Menner, fouling out of the game in the opening minute of the extra frame. Like they have done all year, however, the Gauchos dug deep and tied the game with 48 seconds on the clock when Wallace knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 59-59. Delta then had a chance to regain the lead but Markonio Rutledge’s 3-pointer was off the mark with 35 seconds remaining and Saddleback grabbed the rebound. The Gauchos then took a time out with 27 remaining on the clock to try and set up a winning basket opportunity. Saddleback inbounded the ball to Session, who dribbled the ball down the court and passed the ball off to Wallace. Wallace drove the lane before dishing the ball back outside to Mack, who drained the 3-pointer from the corner, right in front of the Saddleback bench with 2.6 seconds remaining on the clock. Rutledge’s inbounds pass was intercepted by Session with one second remaining on the clock and Gauchos celebrated on the court, led by none-other than a Session back-flip.
"The plan during the timeout was for Kyle to drive and pick up a foul, but he kicked it back out to me," Mack said following the game." "When I got it, I knew I had to pull the trigger."
"It was a huge shot," head coach Andy Ground (pictured) said. "He stepped up and made a big shot, just like he has all year."
Session finished the game with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four steals on an evening when leading scorer Kevin Menner was a bit off the mark. Menner finished with 12 points, but was only 5-of-18 from the field on the afternoon.
Saddleback was also handicapped by foul problems, as the Gauchos were called for 22 personal fouls with both Menner and Billy Azizi fouling out of the game. Session, Wallace and T.J. Lipold all finished with four fouls apiece.
Saddleback shot just 33% from the field but once again it was the Gaucho defense that made the difference. Delta shot just 30% from the field on the day, making only 4-of-16 from 3-point range.
For Saddleback (29-7), it is the second appearance in the state title game in eight years as they won the state championship back in 2001-02. They will meet Riverside City College on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM in the state title game. The Tigers defeated City College of San Francisco, 61-57, in the other semifinal on Saturday afternoon.
Delta finishes the season at 29-6.
Former Saddleback men's basketball coach Bill Brummel was inducted into the California Community College Men's Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame along with two other inductees at a morning ceremony in Fresno.
Brummel (pictured left) was introduced by current Saddleback men's basketball coach, Andy Ground, who played at Saddleback under Brummel's coaching from 1981-1983 and then returned to serve as an assistant coach for eight seasons. Brummel was able to speak about his coaching career at Saddleback, the players he's mentored, and how his relationship with Ground has changed over the years. He was the third inductee of the event, following former Hancock coach and L.A. Lakers front office man, Bill Bertka, and former Lassen and San Joaquin Delta coach, Brian Katz, who is now coaching at Sacramento State.
Brummel ended his coaching career with a record of 569-278 at Saddleback, an average of 21 wins and 10 losses over 27 seasons as the head coach. His teams qualified for the post-season playoffs 21 times, reached the regional finals 11 times, and qualified for the state championship tournament seven times. His teams reached the semifinals of the state tournament five times during a seven-year span (2001-2007), winning the state title in 2002. Brummel was instrumental in helping over 100 former Gauchos continue their education and basketball careers at the four-year level.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team advanced to the state semifinals on Thursday evening with a 62-56 win over Reedley College in Fresno, California. Kevin Menner scored 29 points as the Gauchos surged past the Tigers in the second half, earning a spot in the final four against San Joaquin Delta College on Saturday at 1:00 PM.
Menner (pictured) finished 9-for-17 from the field but it was at the free throw line where he made his living. Menner was 11-of-15 from the charity stripe as the Gauchos broke open a close game in the final four minutes of the game.
Reedley held a 23-22 halftime lead as Saddleback had a woeful shooting performance in the first half, making good on just 35% from the field, 25% from three-point range and 50% from the free throw line. The Gauchos finally heated up down the stretch as they went on a 9-1 run to take a 59-51 lead with under a minute remaining in the game. Saddleback shot 48% in the second half, making good on 2-of-5 from long range.
The Gauchos were opportunistic, turning 16 Reedley turnovers into 15 points on the night. Conversely, the Tigers scored just six points the entire game off Saddleback turnovers.
Franklin Session continued to be a force on the glass for the Gauchos, leading Saddleback with 11 rebounds for the game. He also picked up five steals as the Gaucho defense was suffocating at times, allowing just one Reedley player into double figures in scoring. Reedley was led on offense by Marquel Hoskins with 18 points as the Tigers finished the season 25-7.
Saddleback (28-7) will now have a day off before meeting San Joaquin Delta College (29-5) in the state semifinals on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Delta was the No. 2 seed from Northern California and defeated San Diego City College, 71-69, earlier in the day. City College of San Francisco (29-7) will meet Riverside City College (28-7) in the other semifinal.
Thursday scores from Fresno:
(2N) San Francisco 92, (3S) San Bernadino Valley 87 (3OT) box score
(3N) San Joaquin Delta 71, (2S) San Diego City 69 box score
(1S) Saddleback 62, (4S) Reedley 56 box score
(4S) Riverside 71, (1N) Fresno City 67
The Saddleback men’s basketball team is headed to the state tournament for the sixth time in the past nine seasons and will play Reedley College in the quarterfinal round in Fresno, California, on Thursday at 5:00 PM. The Gauchos and Tigers have played seven common opponents this season.
Reedley College (25-6) finished in second place in the Central Valley Conference this season and plays a similar brand of basketball to the Gauchos. The Tigers averaged 70.4 points-per-game during the season while giving up 65, setting up an interesting battle between two teams that pride themselves in playing solid defense and making the most of their opportunities in the half court offense.
Reedley is led offensively by the combination of Marquel Hoskins (pictured left) and Justin Ayers (pictured right). Hoskins averages 14.9 points and 4.5 assists-per-game, shooting 47% from the field and 76% from the free throw line. Ayers averages 13.8 points-per-game and is also solid at the charity stripe, where he shoots 77%. Asim Demmin is the main force inside for the Tigers, leading Reedley with 6.5 rebounds-per-game.
Saddleback (27-7) enters the contest on Thursday as the No. 1 seed from the south, winning 23 of its past 25 games. The Gauchos average 68.8 points-per-game on offense while surrendering just 62.3.
Kevin Menner (pictured left) leads the charge for Saddleback, averaging 19.3 points and seven rebounds-per-game while shooting 50% from the field. Franklin Session (pictured right) is a monster on the glass for the Gauchos, leading Saddleback with 10 rebounds-per-game and was the MVP of the Orange Empire Conference during the course of the season.
Saddleback has been anything but a two-man team, however, as different players have been chipping in with big performances in key spots. T.J. Lipold is shooting 41% from 3-point range on the season and made the winning basket against Chaffey on Saturday night. Terrell Mack has also been hot, shooting 40% from behind the arc while Kyle Wallace leads the Gauchos with 3.5 assists-per-game.
Saddleback and Reedley have played seven common opponents throughout the season with the Gauchos going 6-1 and Reedley finishing 5-2. The following is a breakdown of common opponents.
Vs. Oxnard College
Saddleback 85, Oxnard 54 (11/7)
Reedley 70, Oxnard 58 (12/21)
Vs. Victor Valley College
Victor Valley 78, Saddleback 65 (11/22)
Reedley 68, Victor Valley 56 (11/28)
Vs. Citrus College
Saddleback 70, Citrus 59 (12/11)
Reedley 72, Citrus 68 (11/29)
Vs. San Diego City College
Saddleback 72, SD City 52 (12/31)
SD City 79, Reedley 65 (11/30)
Vs. Mt. San Antonio College
Saddleback 71, Mt. SAC 67 (1/3)
Reedley 68, Mt. SAC 58 (12/19)
Vs. Cerritos College
Saddleback 65, Cerritos 61 (2/28)
Reedley 62, Cerritos 52 (12/13)
Vs. Chaffey College
Saddleback 63, Chaffey 61 (3/7)
Chaffey 67, Reedley 64 (11/8)
The winner of the Thursday contest between Saddleback and Reedley will face the winner of San Diego City/San Joaquin Delta at 1:00 PM on Saturday. See you in Fresno!
Former Saddleback head basketball coach Bill Brummel will be inducted into the California Community College Men's Basketball Coaches Association on Friday (March 13) during a morning ceremony in Fresno.
Brummel served as an assistant coach at Saddleback under head coach Bill Mulligan for three years (1977-80) and was part of a coaching staff which guided the Gauchos to an 89-14 record in those three seasons, three Mission Conference titles, and into the state tournament in each of those years including a state runner-up finish in 1979. When head coach Bill Mulligan slid over to take the head coaching job at UC Irvine, it was a natural progression for Bill Brummel to take over the head coaching reigns at Saddleback.
Coach Brummel served as the head coach from 1980 until his retirement at the end of the 2007-08 season, taking a sabbatical during the 1988-89 season to serve as an assistant under Bobby Knight at Indiana. Brummel returned to Saddleback the next year with a greater appreciation of Saddleback College and the community college game, passing up job offers at the four-year level so that he could have a larger impact on the young men who wanted to play basketball at this level.
He ended his coaching career with a record of 569-278 at Saddleback, an average of 21 wins and 10 losses over 27 seasons. His teams qualified for the post-season playoffs 21 times, reached the regional finals 11 times, and qualified for the state championship tournament seven times. His teams reached the semifinals of the state tournament five times during a seven-year span (2001-2007), winning the state title in 2002. He has been instrumental in helping over 100 former Gauchos continue their education and basketball careers at the four-year level. For all he has done in establishing Saddleback as a highly respected basketball program, the college renamed the annual Gaucho Classic men ’s basketball tournament as the Bill Brummel Classic in December of 2008.
The CCCMBCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fresno, which also serves as the headquarters for this year's state basketball championship being held March 12-15 at Selland Arena.
The Saddleback Gauchos are headed to the state tournament after a thrilling 63-61 win over Chaffey College on Saturday night at Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos and Panthers were tied at 60 when Saddleback freshman T.J. Lipold (pictured) drained a 3-pointer from 25-feet with 14 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Gauchos a three point lead. Saddleback held on for the win in the final seconds and will head to Fresno where they will play Reedley College in the opening round on Thursday.
The Gauchos held a comfortable lead throughout the first half and led by seven at the break. Saddleback then extended the lead to 14 with just over 17 minutes remaining on the clock before the Panthers began their run. Chaffey chipped away at the Gauchos, making a few shots from the outside and dominating on the glass. The Panthers finally took a lead at 6:25 of the second half when Jamal Williams made a 3-pointer to give Chaffey a 55-53 lead.
The two teams were tied at 60 when Saddleback inbounded the ball with 49 seconds remaining on the clock. The Gauchos took two timeouts on the final possession, the final coming with 24 seconds on the game clock and nine on the shot clock. Saddleback then inbounded the ball to Franklin Session, who looked as if he was going to drive to the basket. Session instead dished the ball out to Lipold who took the shot with no hesitation. Lipold’s shot was an off-balanced shot from the hip with a man in his face that rattled through the net, to the elation of the home crowd in Mission Viejo.
The Panthers then took the ball down the court where Lipold fouled Winston Robinson with 4.9 seconds remaining on the clock. Robinson hit the first free throw and missed the second intentionally but was called for a lane violation, giving the ball back to Saddleback on its own baseline. The Gauchos then launched the ball towards half court where both teams scrambled for the ball as time expired.
Kevin Menner (pictured) led the Gauchos with 26 points in the game but was somewhat quiet in the second half after scoring 16 in the first 20 minutes. He finished 11-for-20 from the field and made some key free throws down the stretch. Session led the Gauchos with nine rebounds but it was Chaffey that dominated the boards all night long. The Panthers had a 45-30 advantage on the glass with Nick Turner and Winston Robinson both leading Chaffey with eight apiece. Turner also led the Panthers in scoring, finishing with 18 points on the night.
Saddleback’s (27-7) next stop is Fresno where the Gauchos will represent the southern half of the state as the No. 1 seed. The Gauchos will face Reedley College (25-6) on Thursday as the No. 5 seeded Tigers from up north went on the road and pulled off a narrow 58-57 win over No. 4 Ohlone College. Game time for the Thursday matchup has yet to be determined.
Chaffey finishes the season 27-7.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team passed its first test of the playoffs with a 65-61 win over Cerritos College on Saturday night and the next stop is a date with Chaffey College this Saturday. The Gauchos will face a Panther team that runs and guns, setting up an interesting battle of conflicting styles.
Chaffey was the No. 8 seed in the Southern California playoffs and has an impressive 27-6 overall record. The Panthers finished in third place in the rugged Foothill Conference and was 17-2 outside of conference during the course of the season. Chaffey advanced to the regional finals with an 82-78 win over Bakersfield College last Friday night.
Chaffey runs an up-tempo offense and loves to shoot from the outside. The Panthers have shot 972 times from behind the arc, making good on 34% during the season. Winston Robinson (pictured left) is the headliner for Chaffey, averaging 16.7 points-per-game, 7.3 rebounds and shooting 40% from long range. Nickalas Turner is another major offensive weapon for the Panthers, averaging 14.5 points, while shooting guard Lamar Williams (pictured right) is lethal from the outside, shooting 41% from 3-point range on the season. Chaffey averages 88.4 points on offense and gives up 77.5 on defense.
“They are a team that really likes to get out and score,” Saddleback head coach Andy Ground said. “We have our work cut out for us because they can score in bunches if you let them.”
Saddleback enters the game at 26-7 overall and was the champions of the Orange Empire Conference. The Gauchos have won 22 of their past 24 games and had a 16-game winning streak during the course of the season.
Saddleback is led by the terrific duo of Kevin Menner (pictured left) and Franklin Session (pictured right) and prides itself in shutting down teams on the defensive end of the court. Menner leads the team with 19.1 points-per-game during the season and was instrumental in the win over Cerritos College on Saturday, when he lit up the Falcons for 29 points. Session has been a beast on the glass, leading the Gauchos with 10.1 rebounds-per-game while chipping in with 14.6 points-per-game on offense. Saddleback prefers a slower attack on offense, averaging 68.9 points while surrendering just 62.3 on defense.
Game time is set for 7:00 PM at Saddleback Gymnasium with a berth in the state tournament on the line. Show up early as a big crowd is expected. The winner will advance to Fresno for the state tournament, which starts next Thursday.
Kevin Menner scored 29 points as Saddleback defeated Cerritos, 65-61, Saturday night in the Southern California regional playoffs at Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos trailed by double-digits in the first half and by eight at half, but rallied for the win to advance to the regional finals.
Menner finished 12-of-19 from the field, scoring 15 in the first half and 14 in the second. He also led the Gauchos with 11 rebounds along with Franklin Session.
Saddleback trailed 36-28 at the half before making a run to start the second 20 minutes of play. The Gauchos finally took a lead at 8:52 of the second half when Terrell Mack hit a jumper. Mack later gave the Gauchos the lead for good when he drained a 3-pointer to give Saddleback a 59-56 lead with just over 2-minutes remaining in the game.
The Gauchos will be at home again next Saturday when they host Chaffey College in the regional finals. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM with the winner advancing to the state tournament in Fresno.
Cerritos finishes the season 15-14 overall. The Falcons were led on offense by Van Girard with 15 points. Marcellus Jackson was effective on the glass, finishing with a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team found out on Wednesday evening they will be playing Cerritos College on Saturday night in the Southern California basketball playoffs. The Falcons defeated Los Angeles Valley College on Wednesday night, 80-76, and were champions of the South Coast League, South Division.
Cerritos comes into the game on Saturday night on a roll, winning 10 straight and 13 of its past 14 games after a dismal 4-12 start to the season. The Falcons are led by sophomore guard Van Girard (pictured left), who averages 13.9 points-per-game, 8.1 rebounds and shoots 53% from the field. Girard is joined by 6-foot-6 forward Marcellus Jackson (pictured right), who averaged 12 points and 10.8 rebounds-per-game. The Gauchos will also have to pay close attention to guard Brian Barner and Jeremy Pope. Barner shoots 37% from 3-point range while Pope led the team with four assists-per-game.
Cerritos averaged 70.6 points-per-game on offense while surrendering 67.8 during the regular season. The Falcons shot 42% from the field on the season, making 30% from behind the arc and 59% from the free throw line.
"Cerritos is well coached and athletic," Saddleback head coach Andy Ground said. "They are not real big, but they are quick and athletic. It will be a tough task for us."
The Gauchos enter the game having won 21 of their past 23 games after a 4-5 start to the season. Saddleback had a stretch of 16 straight wins from December 6 to January 23 before falling to Riverside on January 28. The Gauchos shot 44% from the field during the season, making 33% from 3-point range and 66% from the free throw line. Saddleback averaged 69.1 points-per-game during the season while surrendering just 62.4.
The Gauchos are led by the dynamic duo of Franklin Session (pictured left) and Kevin Menner (pictured right). Session was named the Orange Empire Conference MVP after averaging 14.8 points-per-game and 10 rebounds. Menner led the conference with 18.8 points-per-game. Kyle Wallace and T.J. Lipold were also named all conference this past weekend as Wallace led the team in free throw percentage (73%) and assists (3.5 apg). Lipold developed a reputation throughout the season as one of the top defensive players in the conference and averaged 2.7 rebounds-per-game while clamping down on opposing scorers.
The Gauchos (25-7) and Falcons (15-13) are scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM. The winner will face the winner of the Bakersfield College/Chaffey College game next Saturday night in the regional finals.
The Saddleback Gauchos earned the No. 1 seed for Southern California men’s basketball playoffs when the pairings were announced on Monday afternoon. Saddleback edged out defending state champion Citrus College for the top spot and will play at home this coming Saturday at 7:00 PM.
Saddleback will open the playoffs at home against the winner of Los Angeles Valley College (16-11) and Cerritos College (14-13), who play on Wednesday night at LA Valley. LA Valley was a third place finisher in the Western States South Division while Cerritos captured the South Coast South Division championship. The Gauchos have not played either program during the course of the season. If successful against the LA Valley/Cerritos winner, Saddleback would play at home against the winner of No. 8 Chaffey (26-6) and No. 9 Bakersfield College (23-9) on Saturday, March 7, for a spot in the state tournament in Fresno, California, March 13-15.
Despite not having as good of a final record as the defending state champions or a few other programs in the South, the Gauchos retained the top spot in the field on the strength of a number of solid wins during the season. Saddleback defeated defending state champion and No. 2 seed Citrus College (27-4) on December 11, split two games with the No. 3 seed San Bernadino Valley (25-8) and also defeated No. 4 seed San Diego City (26-4) on December 31. In addition, Saddleback split two games with No. 5 seed Mt. San Jacinto College (22-10) and went 4-1 during the course of the season against No. 6 Fullerton College (18-10) and No. 7 Riverside College (25-7). The only team the Gauchos did not play out of the top-8 seeds was Chaffey College (26-6), a team they could meet in the finals of their bracket on March 7, provided both teams make it that far.
The top-4 seeds in Northern California were No. 1 Fresno City College (32-0), No. 2 San Joaquin Delta College (25-6), No. 3 City College of San Francisco (26-7) and No. 4 Ohlone College (23-8).
The Gaucho Bracket:
1. Saddleback (25-7)
16. LA Valley_(16-11) ________________
17. Cerritos_(14-13)__ _________________
9. Bakersfield (23-9)_
8. Chaffey (26-6)
Click here for entire Southern California Bracket
Click here for enitre Northern California Bracket
Fresh on the heels of capturing the Orange Empire Conference title in men’s basketball, the Gauchos were well represented in all conference selections as four players and a coach were named to the squad. Sophomore Franklin Session was named the conference MVP and head coach Andy Ground was named the coach of the year.
First year head coach Andy Ground had some big shoes to fill in taking over a job for legendary head coach Bill Brummel, and lived up to expectations by winning the conference title in his first season. Ground was named the conference coach of the year for his efforts as the Gauchos finished the season 25-7 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The Gauchos will now wait until Monday when they find out where they will be seeded in the Southern California playoffs, which will start next week.
Sophomore Franklin Session (pictured) took home the top honors on the court as he was named the conference MVP after spearheading the charge for Saddleback along with an excellent supporting cast. Session excelled throughout the season at key moments, including a 30-point, 16-rebound performance on the final night of the regular season to help the Gauchos defeat Riverside College and capture the conference title. He finished 5th in the conference in scoring (14.8), 2nd in rebounds (10.0) and 12th in assists (2.4).
Joining Session on the first team all conference list was sophomore forward Kevin Menner, who led the conference with 18.8 points-per-game. Freshmen guards T.J. Lipold and Kyle Wallace were named honorable mention all conference.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team played like world-beaters for 33 minutes but had to hold on for dear life in beating Riverside College, 67-65, on Friday night at Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos saw a 17-point lead with seven minutes remaining dwindle to zero with 37 seconds on the clock before Kyle Wallace found T.J. Lipold all alone under the basket for the game-winner with 8.2 seconds left in regulation. With the win, Saddleback captures the Orange Empire Conference title.
Sophomore Franklin Session played like a man on a mission for Saddleback, finishing with 30 points and 16 rebounds. Session was 10-of-20 from the field, making 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Kevin Menner added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Gauchos as Saddleback made 12-of-14 free throws in the second half.
In a game that Saddleback never trailed, the Gauchos took an early lead and maintained a lead of between five and 10 points for more than 20 minutes of play. Saddleback then opened up a 17-point lead with under seven minutes to play when Riverside made a run to make it interesting at the end. The Tigers tied the game with 37.4 seconds remaining on the clock when Deondre Lewis stole an inbounds pass and made a layup to tie the game at 65-65. Saddleback then took a timeout to set up for a game-winning shot. With time running down on the shot clock, Wallace drove the lane and dished to Lipold (pictured), who was all alone under the basket for the game-winner. Riverside’s final shot by Daniel Redmon was off the mark and Saddleback escaped with the narrow two-point victory.
With the win, Saddleback captures the Orange Empire Conference title with a 10-2 finish in conference play. The Gauchos tied Fullerton in the standings but have beaten the Hornets twice, thus winning the tiebreaker. Saddleback finishes the season at 25-7 overall and awaits the Southern California playoff pairings, to be announced on Sunday.
Riverside finishes the regular season at 25-7, and 9-3 in conference play. The Tigers were led on offense by Robbie Robinson with 15 points and Deondre Lewis with 13. Robinson also led the Tigers with 14 rebounds.
The Saddleback Gauchos had a big second half in beating Fullerton College, 63-53, in a key battle in the Orange Empire Conference on Wednesday evening at Saddleback Gymnasium. Kevin Menner scored 24 points as the Gauchos took over at least a share of first place with the win.
Menner was red hot, finishing 11-of-18 from the field as the Gauchos outscored the Hornets 40-23 in the second half of play. Saddleback shot only 35% from the field in the first half, but warmed up in the second, making 4-of-9 from three-point range after a 1-for-7 performance in the first 20 minutes.
Fullerton led by as many as 11 points during the second half before Saddleback made a 19-4 run to take a six point lead. The game remained close throughout the second half until the closing minutes, when Saddleback made another run to open up a double-digit lead of their own.
Saddleback dominated on the glass, outrebounding Fullerton 44-35 for the game. Franklin Session led the Gauchos with 11 rebounds while Menner chipped in with eight. Saddleback was also stellar on defense, shutting down the Hornets in the second half. Fullerton shot just 25% from the field in the second frame, making just 2-of-9 from behind the arc.
Ahmaad Cook led the Hornets with 23 points on the night as the Hornets fell to 17-10 overall and 9-2 in conference play. Saddleback improved to 24-7 overall and 9-2 in the Orange empire Conference. The Gauchos will end the evening with at least a share of the conference lead with Riverside College, who is at home playing Orange Coast College. Saddleback holds all tiebreakers with the Hornets as a result of beating the Hornets twice in conference play.
Saddleback will face Riverside on Friday night at 5:30 PM at home with the Orange empire Conference title on the line.
The Saddleback College men’s basketball team moved back up to No. 4 in the state and No. 2 in Southern California in the latest coach’s poll released on Monday. The Gauchos trail only Citrus College in the South, a team they defeated by 11 points in mid-December in the Riverside Tournament.
Saddleback has won 18 of its past 19 games with the lone loss coming against Riverside College on January 28. During the streak, the Gauchos have gone 6-1 against teams ranked in the top-20 in the state. Saddleback has outscored opponents by an average of 9.5 points-per-game since early December, surrendering just 60 points-per-game.
Saddleback is led on offense by Kevin Menner, averaging 18.8 points-per-game. Menner (pictured) is currently 17th in the state in scoring.
The Gauchos will play two road games this week as they travel to Irvine Valley College on Wednesday night and Cypress College on Friday. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 5:30 PM.
Saddleback sophomore Franklin Session finished with 22 points in leading the Gauchos to a 79-78 win over the Orange Coast Pirates on Friday evening at Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos led comfortably until the final minutes of the game when Orange Coast made a run to make it a close finish.
Saddleback led by as many as 11 points during the final three minutes of the game but the Pirates wouldn’t go down quietly. Orange Coast cut the lead to two with 25 seconds remaining when Nico Saldivar made a steal and layup to make the score 77-75. Saddleback then extended the lead to 79-75 with 14 seconds remaining when Kyle Wallace found Kevin Menner under the basket all alone with the Pirates trapping on defense. Orange Coast would then strike once more as Chris Curtis drained a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 79-78. After a Gaucho timeout, Orange Coast fouled Session on the inbound pass to send him to the free throw line in the double bonus with 4.9 seconds remaining. He proceeded to miss both free throws and the Pirates got the rebound with a chance to win the game. The desperation shot at the buzzer by Eric Williams was blocked by Session and the Gauchos escaped with a narrow one-point victory.
Session (pictured) scored 12 points in the first five minutes with a couple of three-pointers. He finished 8-for-14 from the field and had a highlight dunk with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
Kevin Menner had a big second half and finished with 21 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. Menner was 5-of-9 in the second half for 13 points as the Gauchos shot 67% from the field in the second half.
The victory gives Saddleback a 22-6 overall record as they improved to 7-1 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos have won 18 of their past 19 games dating back to late November.
Chris Curtis and Eric Williams both finished with 18 points while Martin Whitmore added 17 as the Pirated dropped to 9-18 overall and 2-6 in conference play.
Saddleback will play against next Wednesday when they travel to inter-district rival Irvine Valley College for a 5:30 PM tipoff.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team fought through a cold shooting night to defeat Santa Ana College, 54-50, on Friday evening in Santa Ana. The Gauchos shot just 34% from the field, but again was led by its defense.
Saddleback received 15 points from Kevin Menner (pictured) to earn the hard-fought win but it was anything but pretty for the Gauchos. Saddleback made only 11-of-23 free throws as the Dons from Santa Ana kept hanging around.
If there has been a constant, however, for the Gauchos on the 2008-09 trail, it has been the defense. Saddleback once again was stifling on the defensive end on Friday night, holding Santa Ana to just 32% from the field as the Dons made only 1-of-11 shots from three-point-range. Conversely, the Gauchos made a respectable 7-of-19 from behind the arc, which was the difference in the game.
Franklin Session led Saddleback with 11 rebounds on the night, including four key offensive rebounds. Kyle Wallace came up big on the defensive end, leading the team with three steals for the game.
Santa Ana was led by Ian Parks, who finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Saddleback improves to 21-6 overall with the win and 6-1 in Orange Empire Conference play. Santa Ana falls to 11-13 overall and 1-6 in conference play with the loss.
The Gauchos will play next on Friday, February 6, when they host Orange Coast College at Saddleback Gymnasium at 5:30 PM.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team’s 16-game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday night after falling to Riverside College, 71-57, at Wheelock Gymnasium in Riverside. The Gauchos led by as many as seven points in the first half but failed to hold on to the lead in losing for the first time since November 29.
Kevin Menner scored 20 points and Franklin Session 18 as the Gauchos shot 52% from the field. Saddleback, however, had troubles stopping guard Robbie Robertson and the Tigers from three-point range. Robertson was 3-of-5 from behind the arc and Riverside shot 44% from three-point range as a team. Robertson finished with 20 points on the night while center David Norris chipped in with 17 for the Tigers.
The Gauchos also failed to protect the ball all evening, turning the ball over 21 times for the game while forcing just 12 on the other end of the court.
Saddleback fell to 20-6 on the season and 5-1 in conference play with the loss and will try to get back on the winning track this Friday night on the road when they travel to Santa Ana to take on the Dons at 5:30 PM. Riverside improved to 21-5 overall and 5-1 in Orange Empire Conference play with the win
The latest men’s basketball state rankings were released on Monday and Saddleback is holding at No. 3 in the state behind No. 2 Citrus College and No. 1 Fresno City College. The Gauchos moved ahead of San Diego City College but were passed by Citrus, a team they beat back in December.
Saddleback received seven first place votes and 349 overall points to trail Citrus by one first place votes and 10 overall points. Fresno City received 17 first place votes, 425 overall points and remains undefeated at 26-0 on the season.
Saddleback has won 16 straight games dating back to November and has defeated four teams ranked in the current top-20. They are currently the No. 4 team in the state in scoring defense, surrendering just 62.2 points per game. The Gauchos are allowing just 58.9 points-per-game during their current winning streak.
The 16-game winning streak is the longest streak since Saddleback won 21-straight games during the 2001-02 campaign. The Gauchos went on to win the state title in 2001-02.
Saddleback is led by sophomore Kevin Menner, averaging 18.8 points-per-game. Menner is currently 18th in state in scoring.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to 16 games on Saturday night with a 61-59 win over Fullerton College at Fullerton Gymnasium. The come-from-behind win gives the Gauchos sole possession of first place in the Orange Empire Conference.
The Gauchos trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before mounting a charge and overtaking the Hornets. T.J. Lipold gave the Gauchos the lead with 5-minutes to play, a lead the Gauchos would never relinquish. Terrell Mack then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Gauchos a six point lead in closing minutes of play. Fullerton hit a shot at the buzzer to make the final score 61-59.
Franklin Session led a balanced attack with 14 points and nine rebounds. Kevin Menner added 14 points and six rebounds while Mack chipped in with 10 points on the night.
The win by Saddleback extended its winning streak to 16 games, the longest winning streak since the Gauchos won 21 straight games back in 2001-02. It was the second time Saddleback had defeated Fullerton, as they defeated the Hornets 63-62 in the finals of the Riverside Tournament in mid-December.
The Gauchos will receive another tough test on Wednesday night when they travel to Riverside College to take on the Tigers at 7:30 PM.
The Saddleback Gauchos improved to 19-5 on the season and 4-0 in Orange empire Conference play with an impressive 76-56 win over Cypress College on Wednesday evening at Saddleback Gymnasium. Franklin Session led the charge for the Gauchos on offense, scoring a season-high 30 points in the win.
Session finished 9-for-21 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line but his evening did not come without some pain. The crowd took a deep breath when Session toppled over a Cypress player onto his neck midway through the second half and lay in agony for nearly two minutes. He then rose to his feet, grabbing his neck and was replaced for a minute before re-entering the game. Shortly after his return, he nailed two straight three-pointers, a sign that he was rested and ready to continue.
Session also finished with 12 rebounds on the evening to lead the Gauchos. It was the 12th time this season Session finished in double figures in rebounds and the 11th time he finished with a double-double.
Saddleback was dominant on the boards, outrebounding Cypress 54-41 for the night. The Gauchos were once again stifling on defense, allowing the Chargers to shoot just 29% from the field.
With the win, Saddleback’s winning streak hit 15 games, the longest streak since the Gauchos won 21-straight games back in 2001-02.
Saddleback will play next on Friday evening at Fullerton College at 7:30PM.
Cypress falls to 12-12 overall and 2-2 in Orange Empire Conference play with the loss.
The Saddleback Gauchos men’s basketball team moved up one more spot to No. 3 in the state in the latest coaches poll released on Monday. Saddleback is currently riding a 14-game winning streak, the longest since the 2001-02 season.
Saddleback is third behind No. 1 Fresno City College (24-0) and No. 2 San Diego City College (18-3), a team the Gauchos defeated by 20 points on New Year’s Eve. Saddleback has won four games against programs in the top-20 during its current winning streak, including wins over No. 20 Fullerton (63-62), No. 4 Citrus (70-59), No. 12 San Bernadino Valley (86-64) and No. 8 Mt. San Jacinto (64-57). The last time the Gauchos lost was to Mt. San Jacinto on November 30 in the third place game of the Palomar College Tournament, 77-61.
Saddleback’s current winning streak is the longest winning streak since the Gauchos won 21-straight games back in 2001-02 when they won the state title.
Other teams from the Orange Empire Conference in the top-20 rankings include No. 16 Riverside (19-5) and No. 20 Fullerton (11-8).
The Saddleback men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to 14 games with a 51-41 win over inter-district rival Irvine Valley College on Friday night at Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos once again did it again with defense, as they held IVC to 40% shooting for the night in winning the inaugural President’s Cup matchup with the Lasers.
The 14-game winning streak is the longest at Saddleback since the Gauchos won 21 straight games back in 2001-02 and it came on a night when leading scorer Kevin Menner had an unusually off night. Menner finished with just four points on the night, shooting 2-for-5 from the field in 28 minutes of play.
With Menner’s reduced role on Friday, sophomore Franklin Session made the best of the opportunity and came back to haunt his old teammates. Session, a transfer player from Irvine Valley, finished with 12 points to lead the Gauchos before fouling out of the game with just over a minute to play. Session also led Saddleback along with teammate Sarunas Jackson with eight rebounds apiece.
The Gaucho defense was suffocating at times, especially on IVC leading scorer Jeff Ledbetter, who finished with just three points on the night. T.J. Lipold and a host of other Gauchos tightened the grip on Ledbetter all evening, allowing him just four shots on the night. He and the rest of the Lasers missed all but one shot from three-point range, finishing 1-for-11 on the night.
Saddleback improved to 18-5 on the season and 3-0 in Orange Empire Conference play and has not lost since falling to Mt. San Jacinto College in the third place game of the Palomar Tournament back on November 30. They will play again next Wednesday at home against Cypress College at 7:30 PM.
Irvine Valley fell to 10-13 and 0-4 with the loss.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team moved up to No. 4 in the state coach’s poll released Monday on coasports.org. Saddleback is the No. 3 team in Southern California, behind Citrus and San Diego City, two teams the Gauchos have beaten in the past month.
Saddleback is currently riding a 12-game winning streak and has not lost since falling to Mt. San Jacinto in the third place game of the Palomar College Tournament on November 30. The Gauchos have defeated five teams ranked in the top-20 poll during the winning streak, including wins over No. 2 Citrus (70-59), No. 3 San Diego City (72-52), No. 11 San Bernadino Valley (86-64), No. 13 Mt. San Jacinto (64-57) and No. 17 Fullerton (63-62).
The 12-game winning streak is the longest streak for men’s basketball since the Gauchos won 12 games in a row back in 2005-06. Saddleback will attempt to go for their 13th straight win on Wednesday night when they travel to Orange Coast to take on the Pirates at 7:30 PM. If victorious, it will be the longest winning streak since winning 21-straight games back in 2001-02 when the Gauchos captured the state title.
Saddleback has been stifling on defense, surrendering only 63.5 points-per-game during the season and 60.1 during the winning streak. Of the teams listed in the top-20, the Gaucho defense is No. 5 in the state behind Ohlone (58.2), San Jose City (61.2), San Joaquin Delta (61.6) and Reedley (62.3), four programs from the north.
Kevin Menner has been the workhorse on offense for Saddleback, averaging 19.3 points-per-game to lead the Orange Empire Conference. Menner is currently No. 12 in the state in scoring.
Other Orange Empire Conference programs in the top-20 include Riverside (14) and Fullerton (17).
The Saddleback men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to 12 games on Wednesday night with a 77-64 win over Santa Ana College in the Orange Empire Conference opener at Saddleback Gymnasium. It is the longest winning streak since the Gauchos won 12 games in a row back in 2005-06.
Kevin Menner once again led the charge for Saddleback, finishing with 28 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field. Menner made a living at the free throw line, making 12-of-16 from the charity stripe.
T.J. Lipold gave the offense a spark from the outside, connecting on 2-of-3 from 3-point range and finishing with 10 points. Frankin Session recorded a game-high 16 rebounds as Saddleback had a modest 51-48 edge on the boards.
The Gauchos were once again stifling on defense, allowing the Dons only 34% (27-of-79) shooting from the field on the night. After a cold first half that saw the Gauchos only shoot 32% (11-of-34) from the field, Saddleback warmed up to 50% (14-of-28) for the second half in shooting 40% (25-of-62) for the game.
Saddleback has the weekend off and will play next at Orange Coast College next Wednesday evening at 7:30 PM. The Gauchos will be at home next on Friday, January 16, when they host Irvine Valley College in the inter-district President’s Cup.
Santa Ana falls to 10-8 overall and 0-1 in Orange Empire Conference play with the loss.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to 11 games on Saturday night with a 71-67 win over Mt. San Antonio College at Saddleback Gymnasium. Kevin Menner led the charge for the Gauchos, finishing with 26 points on the night.
Saddleback entered the game as one of the hottest teams in Southern California but the winning streak was in jeopardy for a majority of the evening against a Mt. San Antonio team that entered the contest at 6-11. The Gauchos shot just 19-of-38 from the free throw line while Mt. SAC’s Aaron Chamberlin kept the Mounties in the game, finishing with 21 points.
Saddleback trailed for most of the first half before finally taking the lead from the Mounties late in the first half. The Gauchos trailed 25-16 before going on a 9-0 run to take a 27-25 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first frame.
Menner finished 9-of-17 from the field and led Saddleback with 13 rebounds on the night. Despite an unusually cold night from the field, Franklin Session did enough to finish second in scoring for the Gauchos with 11 points on the evening.
The 11-game winning streak is the longest winning streak since Saddleback won 12 straight games during the 2005-06 season. The Gauchos will attempt to tie the feat next Wednesday night when they open up Orange Empire Conference play against Santa Ana College at home at 7:30 PM.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team's winning streak is now at 10 after the Gauchos upended San Diego City College, 72-52, on the Knights' home court early on New Year's Eve.
San Diego was ranked No. 2 in Southern California and No. 2 in the state heading into the contest while the Gauchos were ranked No. 8 in Southern California and No. 11 in the state. Saddleback has already defeated the state's top team, Citrus, earlier this season.
In the victory over San Diego City, Kevin Menner tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds with Franklin Session adding 16 points and 12 rebounds. Billy Azizi chipped in with 14 points and Kyle Wallace dished out six assists.
The Saddleback men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to nine games with an 80-53 win over Rio Hondo College on Tuesday night at Saddleback Gymnasium. The winning streak marks the longest streak since the Gauchos won nine games in a row during the 2006-07 season.
Kevin Menner scored 21 points for Saddleback and Aaron Woods had a season-high 18 points as Saddleback jumped out to a 13-point halftime lead. The Gauchos once again excelled on defense, holding the Roadrunners to just 39% shooting from the field.
“We defender their best player and made it a tough night on them,” head coach Andy Ground said. “T.J. Lipold and Aaron Woods took turns defending a guy (Darryl Alexander) that averages about 24 points per game.”
Alexander ended up leading Rio Hondo with 14 points, finishing 4-of-10 from the field. He also led the Roadrunners on the glass with eight rebounds.
Sarunas Jackson finished with 14 points on the night for Saddleback, leading the Gauchos with 12 rebounds. It was his first double-double of the season and both were season highs.
Saddleback improved to 13-5 on the season and has not lost since falling to Mt. San Jacinto in the third place game of the Palomar Tournament on November 30. Rio Hondo fell to 6-11 on the season with the loss.
Saddleback will play next on Saturday, January 3, at home against Mt. San Antonio College at 5:00 PM. If victorious on Saturday, The Gauchos will have their longest winning streak since winning 12 straight back in 2005-06.
Saddleback ran its winning streak to eight straight games on Saturday in beating Mt. San Jacinto College, 64-57, in the finals of the Bill Brummel Classic at Saddleback College. The Gauchos have now won two straight tournaments after winning the Riverside Community College Wells Fargo Classic last weekend.
Franklin Session led the Gauchos with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and after the tournament received the most valuable player award for the tournament. Also included from Saddleback on the all-tournament team was freshman guard T.J. Lipold and sophomore forward Kevin Menner.
Saddleback dominated with its defense in the second half, holding Mt. San Jacinto 10 minutes without a field goal from the floor. The Eagles were 0-for-10 from the field during the middle 10 minutes of the half, turning the ball over four times in the process.
Saddleback has now won eight straight games dating back to December 6.
Mt. San Jacinto was led by Melvin Goins, who finished with 17 points in a losing effort. Both Goins and Mark Williams were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts.
In other action, San Bernadino Valley College improved to 11-5 on the season with a 67-45 win over Long Beach City College in the third place game of the Bill Brummel Classic on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines were led by D’Shaun Holden with 13 points and Aaron Edwards with 11 points in beating a Long Beach team that shot only 30% from the field.
San Bernadino held a 15-point half time lead when Long Beach made a brief run to cut the lead to six four minutes into the second half. The Wolverines, however, clamped down on defense and cruised to a 22-point win to capture third place in the tournament.
San Bernadino freshman forward Curtis Wilkinson was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts throughout the tournament.
Long Beach City fell to 5-8 on the season with the loss.
In the consolation finals, Los Angeles Trade Tech received 22 points from Clifford Sutherland in beating Irvine Valley College, 78-71. The Beavers trailed by four at halftime before they got hot, connecting on 53% of their shots in the second 20 minutes. Trade Tech held Irvine Valley to 39% shooting in the second half and 40% for the game.
Trade Tech improves to 5-8 on the season with the win while IVC drops to 9-8 on the season with the loss. Following the game, Trade Tech freshman Clifford Sutherland was named to the all-tournament team.
LA Trade Tech 78, Irvine Valley 71 (consolation finals)
San Bernadino Valley 67, Long Beach City 45 (third place)
Saddleback 64, Mt. San Jacinto 57 (championship)
Kevin Menner scored 26 points and the Saddleback Gauchos out-rebounded San Bernadino Valley College, 47-36, in cruising to an 86-64 win on Friday night in the semifinals of the 2008 Bill Brummel Classic at Saddleback College. The Gauchos improved to 11-5 on the season and will play Mt. San Jacinto College in the tournament finals on Saturday at 4:00 PM.
Menner was red hot from the field, finishing 12-of-15 from the floor in just 23 minutes of play. When Menner wasn’t scoring, freshman T.J. Lippold was lighting things up from the outside, hitting on 5-of-5 from behind the arc to finish with 15 points for the game. Last weekend’s star, Franklin Session, also got into the act for the Gauchos, finishing with 15 points and leading the team with 14 rebounds.
Saddleback led 38-24 at the break and after allowing San Bernadino to score the opening basket of the second half, went on a 16-2 run to open up a 26-point margin. The Wolverines fought back, scoring 13 of the next 15 points to close within 56-41. The Gauchos, however, would go on another 12-3 run to put the game away, leading 68-44 with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest.
Saddleback has now won seven straight games dating back to December 6 and once again did it with solid defense. The Gauchos allowed just 35% shooting from the field for San Bernadino, who was led by Aaron Edwards with 14 points.
The Gauchos will take Mt. San Jacinto College in the finals after the Eagles won the first semifinal of the evening with a 76-66 win over Long Beach City College. Five players scored in double-figures for Mt. San Jacinto, led by Melvin Goins and Mark Williams with 13 points apiece. Long Beach City will take on San Bernadino Valley in the third place game at 2:00 PM on Saturday.
Irvine Valley advanced to the Consolation Championship game for the second consecutive year with a 69-42 victory over Gavilan in one consolation semifinal. Kwame Alexander had 16 points and Brandon Hucks added 11 rebounds to pace the Lasers. Gavilan, which shot only 18 percent in the first half, didn't have any player score in double figures. Christian Silva had nine points and Stephen Vargas had nine rebounds. In the other Consolation semifinal, Trade Tech ran away from Schoolcraft by a 119-76 count. The Beavers had six players score in double figures, led by Kevin McDowell with 25. Bruce Watson led Schoolcraft with 18 points.
Irvine Valley 69, Gavilan 42 (Gavilan eliminated)
L.A. Trade Tech 119, Schoolcraft 76 (Schoolcraft eliminated)
Mt. San Jacinto 76, Long Beach City 66
Saddleback 86, San Bernardino Valley 64
First round games of the Bill Brummel Classic men's basketball tournament are underway on the Saddleback College campus. In the first game of the day Mt. San Jacinto battled back from 15 points down to defeat Irvine Valley College, 59-57. Melvin Goins had 20 points for the Eagles while Brandon Hucks tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds for Irvine Valley. In the second game, San Bernardino Valley posted a 97-87 victory over L.A. Trade Tech as Nate Roth scored 30 points and handed out six assists for the Wolverines while Curtis Wilkinson added nine points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Tim Smith scored 19 points for the Beavers with Kevin McDowell adding 15 points and four blocked shots.
In another first-round game, Long Beach City College overcame an early 9-point deficit and held on to turn back the Rams of Gavilan, 72-64. Randolph White had 21 points for the Vikings with former Gaucho Reggie Patterson adding 17 points and nine rebounds. Aaron Mollet had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Rams.
And in the final game of the night, Saddleback beat Schoolcraft 81-52 as the Gauchos had four players in double figures. Franklin Session had 18 points to lead the team with Elijah York scoring 12 points while Kevin Menner and Terrell Mack tossed in 11 points apiece. Schoolcraft was led by Martez Abney with 15 points while Bruce Watson added 11.
Games continue on Friday with Irvine Valley and Gavilan meeting at 1:00 p.m., L.A. Trade Tech and Schoolcraft battling at 3:00 p.m., Mt. San Jacinto and Long Beach City tangling at 5:00 p.m., and San Bernardino Valley and Saddleback squaring off at 7:00 p.m.
Mt. San Jacinto 59, Irvine Valley 57
Long Beach City 72, Gavilan 64
San Bernardino Valley 97, L.A. Trade Tech 87
Saddleback 81, Schoolcraft (MI) 52
The Saddleback Gauchos headed into the 39th annual Wells Fargo Holiday Tournament at Riverside College with many question marks and when all was said and done, silenced the critics. The Gauchos ended up winning four straight games over some of the toughest competition in the state, defeating archrival Fullerton College in the finals, 63-62.
Saddleback opened the tournament against Imperial Valley, a team that had lost five games by less than six points during the season, and put together a solid second half in winning 63-58. Kevin Menner and Franklin Session combined for 31 points and 20 rebounds as the Gauchos shot 47% from the field in sending IVC to its sixth loss by less than six points.
Saddleback then faced a Citrus team that came into the contest rated No. 1 in Southern California and dominated the Owls, winning 70-59. The Gauchos held Citrus to 38% shooting as Session led the offensive charge for Saddleback, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The teams were tied at the break at 32 before Saddleback when on a run to put the game out of reach. The Gauchos made 10-of-12 free throws in the final 20 minutes to improve to 7-5, putting together its first three-game winning streak of the season.
In the semifinals, Saddleback faced a Yuba College team that was ranked No. 6 in the state and No. 3 in Northern California. The Gauchos put together their best 40 minutes of basketball during the season, shooting 62% from the field in the first half in racing to a 13-point advantage at the break. Four players finished in double-figures for Saddleback, led by Kyle Wallace’s 14 points as the Gauchos toppled Yuba, 75-62. Saddleback finished the game shooting 54% from the field and held Yuba to just 34% from the floor and 13% from 3-point range.
Saddleback then got a glimpse of the future as they faced conference foe Fullerton College in the finals on Saturday. Kevin Menner and Franklin Session led the way for Saddleback as Menner finished with 18 points while Session grabbed 12 rebounds in beating the Hornets, 63-62. The Gauchos were solid from the field throughout, shooting 49% from the field, 55% from 3-point range and 79% from the free throw line. Once again, the Gaucho defense was tenacious, holding the Hornets to 41% from the field.
Following the tournament, Franklin Session was awarded with the tournament MVP while both Kevin Menner and Kyle Wallace were also included on the all-tournament team.
The Gauchos now stand at 9-5 on the season, riding a 5-game winning streak heading into the Bill Brummel Classic. Saddleback will open the tournament on Thursday evening against Schoolcraft College (MI) at 7:00 PM.
Saddleback moved up to No. 16 in the state and No. 9 in Southern California rankings after the tournament championship.
The Bill Brummel Classic (formerly the Gaucho Classic) will tip off on Thursday afternoon, December 18, with four games on Thursday and Friday and three games on Saturday. The name change for the tournament comes on the heels of the retirement of longtime Head Coach Bill Brummel, who coached at Saddleback for 27 seasons, accumulating an astonishing 569-278 overall record.
Saddleback welcomes five other teams from Southern California, one program from Northern California and one out-of-state program from Michigan to the tournament, now in its 11th year. Two of the teams from last season’s tournament, Los Angeles Trade Tech College and Long Beach City College, faced off in the championship game in 2007 and are both looking to repeat their performance from a season ago.
The opening game of the tournament pits cross-town rival Irvine Valley College against Foothill Conference foe Mt. San Jacinto College at 1:00 PM. IVC was 8-4 heading into the weekend of December 12, winning six of its past seven contests. The Lasers are led by Jeff Ledbetter, averaging 14.9 points-per-game through nine games this season. Mt. San Jacinto was 7-5 at the time of this release and led on offense by Melvin Goins (16 PPG).
Game two of the tournament tips off at 3:00 PM and features the 2007 tournament champion, Los Angeles Trade Tech College as they play Foothill Conference power San Bernadino Valley College. San Bernadino is currently the highest rated team in the field, rated No. 9 in the state in the latest coaches’ poll on December 7. The Wolverines are currently 9-3 on the season through Thursday, December 11, and are led by the dynamic duo of Warren Fuselier (15.3 PPG) and Aaron Edwards (14.3 PPG). Trade Tech (3-9) has struggled out of the gate so far in 2008 after making it to the state semi-finals last season, where they lost to eventual state champion Citrus College. The Beavers are led on offense by Clifford Sutherland (13.3 PPG) and Tyrone Nance (13.0 PPG).
Game three of the quarterfinals features 2007 runner-up Long Beach City versus Northern California’s Gavilan College at 5:00 PM. Long Beach City (4-6) lost in the finals of the tournament a year ago and has been in a bit of a recent slide after starting the season 4-1. The Vikings feature one of the top freshmen from the South Coast League South Division in Lane Whitney, who has averaged 14 points-per-game during the early part of the season. Gavilan College is the lone representative from Northern California and enters the tournament at 1-9.
The final game on opening day features two teams that have never played before as our Saddleback Gauchos host Schoolcraft College, from Livonia, Michigan, at 7:00 PM. The Gauchos (6-6) have had a bit of an up-and-down start to the 2008-09 campaign under first year coach Andy Ground, but have shown glimpses of greatness over the first month of the season. Saddleback features one of the more exciting players in the state in Kevin Menner, averaging 19.5 point-per-game. Schoolcraft is part of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association which plays under the umbrella of the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Ocelets enter the tournament at 4-7 on the season, led by Stefan Marken (12.1 PPG), Bruce Watson (11.3 PPG) and Kevin Brown (10.9 PPG), all averaging in double-digits.
The winners of the opening round games will advance to the championship semifinals, which will be held at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM on Friday evening. The losers of the opening round games will head to the consolation bracket, with games starting at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM on Friday. Three games will take place on Saturday, with the fifth place game at 12:00 PM, followed by the third place game at 2:00 PM. The tournament championship game will start at 4:00 PM on Saturday.
After 10 seasons of the tournament being named the Gaucho Classic, Saddleback representatives decided to pay tribute to long-time head coach Bill Brummel, who retired following the 2007-08 campaign. Brummel finished with an overall record of 569-278 during his 27 years at the helm at Saddleback, shattering all previous school records.
“We thought it would be a great idea to identify a person that spent a lot of time representing the program with dignity and class,” Assistant Athletic Director Jerry Hannula said. “He gave the Gaucho nation a lot of memorable moments over the past three decades and it was only fitting that we rename the tournament in his honor.”
The Saddleback basketball team had a solid start to the season, placing third at the Ventura Tournament and finishing the first weekend with a 2-1 record. In the team's opening game against Oxnard, four players scored in double figures as the Gauchos had little trouble with the Condors, 85-54. Kevin Menner had 17 points while Franklin Session was credited with 16 points and 12 rebounds as Saddleback broke open a 38-31 halftime lead in the second half. Aaron Woods added 12 points while Perry Webster had 11 points and six assists.
In the second game the Gauchos needed to fight back from a 30-27 halftime deficit to take a lead heading into the closing minutes against Pasadena. But the Lancers had magic strike twice: once to send the game into overtime and again at the buzzer in overtime to edge the Gauchos, 73-72. Session had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Gauchos while Menner added 15 points and nine rebounds.
That loss dropped the Gauchos into the third place game against the host Pirates of Ventura. The Gauchos jumped out to a 35-28 halftime lead and held on down the stretch to win, 73-67. It would be a homecoming of sorts for Menner, who played for the Pirates last season. He enjoyed the return trip, posting a game-high 20 points. Session added 16 points and 12 rebounds while Webster added 12 points and six assists.
Saddleback will have this week off before preparing for the Fullerton Tournament starting Thursday, Nov. 20, when the Gauchos face San Bernardino Valley at 7:30 p.m.
The Saddleback College men’s basketball team opens up the 2008-09 season this weekend with high hopes and a new head coach for the first time in 20 years. Former assistant coach and co-head coach Andy Ground takes over the program in 2008-09 after a year at Irvine Valley College, where as an assistant coach he helped the Lasers finish 27-5 and in second place in the Orange Empire Conference.
Ground is no stranger to Saddleback as he played for the Gauchos in the early 80’s and played a large role in the success of the program in the late 90’s, early 00’s as an assistant coach under longtime coach Bill Brummel. He says the transition back to Saddleback has been seamless.
“It isn’t much of an adjustment, really,” Ground said. “It has been good. I have a good staff to work with and I am looking forward to it.”
Ground takes over a program with one returning player and has brought in a group of talented freshmen and three transfer players to help him out of the gate. He says he missed the program in his one season across town.
“I really missed the program,” Ground said. “It was a good experience and a different perspective, but now I am back and enjoying my time here.”
Saddleback’s lone returning player is guard Cornell Jenkins but he will not be the only player on the court with college experience as Ventura College transfer Kevin Menner and Irvine Valley College transfers Franklin Session and Perry Webster all transferred in to the program during the spring. Ground says he likes what he sees on the court and has high expectations for the season.
“I think we have a good group of guys,” Ground said. “We should be fairly good from the perimeter. We have good guards and good inside guys, so we should be able to score inside-and-out. Hopefully we will put a brand of basketball together that people will want to come and see.”
Ground pinpointed a few players he expects big things from in 2008-09.
“Kevin Menner is a really special player inside,” Ground said. “He can really score with the ball. Perry Webster really runs the team well. He is like a coach on the floor. Franklin Sessions is a real athletic guard. He can really get after it.”
Despite a good mix of size and athleticism, Ground remains cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season.
“It is way too early to tell,” Ground said. “We still have to get our chemistry together and we have a lot of work to do on the defensive end. It is a good group and a willing group that wants to work. We have a chance to be good.”
The Gauchos will open up the season this Friday evening at 5:00 PM against Oxnard College in the Ventura Tournament. If successful in the opening game, they would play the winner of Pasadena City College and Antelope Valley College in the winner’s bracket on Saturday evening at 5:00 PM.
Saddleback College has renamed the Gaucho Classic basketball tournament to the Bill Brummel Classic and will host the event on December 18-20, 2008, in the campus gym. Bill Brummel was the Saddleback men's basketball head coach for 27 years, building a 569-278 overall record and guiding the program to 11 conference titles, 7 conference runner-up finishes, 21 post-season appearances, 7 state tournament appearances, and the 2002 state championship.
Former Gaucho Anthony Carter (1994-96) was the leading scorer for the Denver Nuggets when they hosted the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, November 1. Despite falling 104-97 to the Lakers, Carter scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out six assists to lead Denver. The only player to score more points was the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who finished with 33 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
It would be Carter's last game with NBA MVP Allen Iverson as Iverson was traded to the Detroit Pistons two days later. Carter has scored 45 points in the Nuggets' first three games of the season.
This year's tournament will open with Irvine Valley playing Mt. San Jacinto at 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 18, followed at 3:00 p.m. by the L.A. Trade Tech and San Bernardino Valley game. Long Beach City College will face Gavilan College at 5:00 p.m. with Saddleback hosting Schoolcraft College of Michigan in the feature game at 7:00 p.m.
Please come out an join us for a weekend of exciting community college basketball, December 18-20, in the Saddleback campus gym.
Saddleback College has announced that Andy Ground will return to the college as the head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Ground played at Saddleback during the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons under Coach Bill Brummel before earning a scholarship to play at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. He later played professionally in Lima, Peru, and in Bonn, Germany.
He returned to Southern California where he spent seven seasons as the varsity boys coach at Tustin High School, compiling a 154-49 record with three league titles and post-season playoff appearances in each of those seven seasons. Five of his teams reached the CIF quarterfinal round.
Ground came to Saddleback as an assistant coach in 1999 and proved to be an outstanding recruiter in addition to his coaching duties. He spent seven seasons as an assistant coach before being named co-head coach for the 2006-07 season. In those eight seasons he helped guide the Gauchos to a 215-51 overall record, five Orange Empire Conference titles, and two conference runner-up finishes. Saddleback participated in the post-season in each of those years, reaching the state tournament semifinals five times and winning the college’s first-ever state title for men’s basketball in 2001-02.
He left the program prior to the 2007-08 season and was hired as an assistant coach at Irvine Valley College, helping the Lasers to a 27-5 overall record and a runner-up finish in the Orange Empire Conference.
Ground replaces Brummel who retired this season after 27 years as Saddleback’s head coach and a 569-278 overall record. Brummel also spent four years as an assistant coach under Bill Mulligan (1976-80) before taking over as head coach for the 1980-81 season.