Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
MISSION VIEJO - How sweet it is.
And how fitting that the Marauder men's basketball team will face Citrus in the third round of the state playoffs with a convincing victory against Saddleback College, 79-67, Saturday night, avenging a loss to the Gauchos earlier this season.
"The guys played really well. I saw glimpses of this team over the course of the season," AVC head coach John Taylor said. "We turned the corner and I hope we have a few more games left in us."
The Marauders were led by Cory Dollarhide, who has struggled shooting the ball in recent games, but was on fire finishing with 19 points and was 5-of-5 from 3-point range. D'Mauria Jones finished with 16 points and Jailen Gill and Reggie Byers each added 12.
Jones was also a factor as he finished with five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Gill also had nine rebounds.
"I just prepared myself for the game. I wanted to win this game so bad like no other," Dollarhide said. "We executed and got it done. From the start of the game we pressed. We wanted to speed up the game to make them uncomfortable. We got them out of what they wanted to do. I think it's very pleasing. It's a big win for us, but from our expectations the job is not finished."
AVC was 30-of 43 from the field, including 7-of-8 from behind the arc.
"Saddleback is one of the best half court teams in the state and we got them to play our game which is up tempo," Taylor said. "The guys just figured out, lose and you go home. We were 30-of-43 from the field so every shot was a good shot."
The Marauders will travel to Citrus College next Saturday night in an Elite Eight matchup. The Owls defeated the Marauders twice this season and historically AVC has had a tough time playing at Citrus College since joining the Western State Conference.