Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
LANCASTER - It always seems that the Marauder men's basketball team has a target on its back.
Teams that don't normally play like they do all season seem to come to Marauder Gymnasium and become unconscious.
Case in point Saturday evening against Barstow College.
The Vikings shot a ridiculous 16-of-37 from 3-point range and AVC let them hang around until finally they took the lead and Barstow left Newton Chelette Court with a stunning 89-85 victory over the Marauders.
AVC, which had already beaten Barstow College, twice earlier this season dropped to second place in the Western State Conference with the Vikings, one game behind Citrus College.
"We started out on top. We made some mental mistakes and the momentum swung. They hit every shot they took," said Charles Hall. "We turned the ball over way too much. They got confidence. We've struggled with pressure all season. It's something we have to clean up if we want to go far in the playoffs. I blame myself. I turned the ball over way too much. We have to win our next one and take one game at a time. We looked ahead at halftime and thought we were going to win."
The Marauders led seemingly comfortable, 42-30, at halftime and it could have been a lot worse for the Vikings. However, Barstow outscored AVC 59-43 in the second half.
AVC uncharacteristically turned the ball over 24 times, much in part to Barstow's pressure defense in which the Marauders seemed very confused and out of sync.
The Marauders led nearly the entire game until the Vikings hit a 3-pointer giving them an 86-83 lead. AVC had an opportunity to send the game into overtime or take the lead, but a steal by the Vikings and layup on the other end sealed the victory.