LANCASTER – The Marauder men's basketball team failed to make it back-to-back Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament championships as it was defeated by Fullerton College in a come-from-behind victory, 71-66, Sunday evening on Newton Chelette Court.
Unfortunately for the Marauders, a seemingly comfortable 12-point lead and all the momentum wasn't enough as the Hornets, ranked No. 13 and most likely will move up in the polls, kept chipping away at the lead until AVC had to play catch up.
AVC (5-5) was undefeated at home last season and has already lost two home games this year, on Sunday and against then No. 2 ranked Saddleback last month, albeit the Marauders only have one returning player in Cory Dollarhide and no returning starters.
A 3-pointer by Osinachi Nwachukwu with a little more than 16 minutes remaining gave the Marauders a 45-33 lead, exciting the crowd. It seemed as if nearly every possession after that the Hornets (7-2) responded with a basket, including a 4-point play by tournament MVP Nick Anderson which cut the lead to 48-42, while the Marauders continued to struggle.
Certainly a 6 ½ minute stretch without a field goal by the Marauders certainly didn't help their cause.
"We lost focus. We just turned the ball over one too many times," said Charles Hall, who was awarded the 110 Percent Award. "We you get up on teams you have to bounce on them. But we're a young team and as the season goes we won't do that. This is a disappointing loss, but I did see some positives out there. We can definitely bounce back."
Fullerton built its lead to 64-54 with the help of turnovers on four consecutive possessions by the Marauders, which resulted in buckets by the Hornets.
Still as poorly as AVC played the last 10 minutes of the second half, they still somehow put themselves in a position to win the game.
AVC trailed 70-66 following a basket by Nwachukwu with 38 seconds remaining. AVC's stingy defense forced Fullerton into a turnover with 27 seconds remaining. A missed 3-pointer by Dollarhide and a rebound by the Hornets solidified the victory.
D'Mauria Jones (22 points), Jailen Gill and Antone Warren were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Fullerton's Dillon Reise, Ian Fox and Kendall Lauderdale was also named. Nwachukwu was given the Most Inspirational Award.
Third Place - San Bernardino 92, Ventura 67
The Wolverines responded from last night's upset loss to Fullerton with a convincing win.
A 17-2 lead midway through the second half helped give San Bernardino (9-1) a 37-23 lead after it trailed 21-20 with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half.
The Wolverines had four players score in double figures led by Gloire Biongo who finished with 20 points. Kevin McNeal added 19 and All-Tourney selection Ja Morgan finished with 16 points for San Bernardino. Isiah Reyes led the Pirates (7-5) with 28 points. Vida Faniel was named to the All-Tournament team and finished with four points and four rebounds.
Consolation Championship - Mira Costa 92, LA Harbor 78
Austin Bryant scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Spartans to the victory.
Mira Costa (4-6) connected on 10-of 23 3-pointers, including four from Brady Twombly who was 4-for-8 and finished with 23 points. The Spartans shot a red hot 55 percent from the field.
Joel Anderson led the Seahawks (1-6) with 17 points and teammate Donal Hughes added 15. Anderson was named to the All-Tournament Team alongside Brett Hollins for Mira Costa.