Thu., Mar. 9, No. 4 South Antelope Valley College Marauder men's basketball (22-10, 6-4 and third in the Western State East) vs. No. 1 North City College of San Francisco Rams (28-2, 11-1 and champions of the Coast North), Quarterfinals State Playoffs, Los Positas College, Livermore, 5 p.m.
If the Marauders win, they will play in the semifinal game on Sat., Mar. 11 at 3 p.m.
The Marauders moved on to the semis with a 74-71 win at Citrus, where Reggie Byers hit a three with 2.2 seconds left for the win. In the second round, AVC took a 79-67 win over No. 3 Saddleback. In that game, Cory Dollarhide scored 19 points and was a perfect five for five from three and the Marauder shot 69.4 percent from the field. In the first round the Marauders took the 89-80 win at home against Santa Monica. Jailen Gill scored 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds.
CC San Francisco is the defending State Champion, and the No. 1 ranked team in the state. The Rams first beat Cabrillo in the second round and Butte 62-60 on Saturday to advance to State.
The teams have never met, at least since 1968 when we have complete game records.
The 2016-17 Marauders have played the tough teams tough and the weaker teams weakly and pretty much everything in between. Tied for the lead in the Western State East at the turn high on an eight game win streak that included a MiraCosta Tournament title, AVC then went 3-4 to drop all the way to third.
One of those losses was to LA Valley, which they had beat the first time around by 40, and one of those wins was by two to the basement dwelling Victor Valley at home.
The 116-74 final regular season win over Glendale may well signal the Marauders have finally figured it out, and are preparing to make a playoff run worthy of early in the season when they were ranked as one of the top teams in the state.
In addition, AVC is the second best shooting team in the state from the field.
The spark for the Marauders usually comes in the form of a Charles Hall pass to just about anyone. Watch for that second person to take over the offense whether it's Cory Dollarhide from three, Antone Warren controlling underneath, Jailen Gill using his athleticism both for scoring and rebounding or D'Mauria Jones hitting from three and finishing the fast break.
It is the fifth trip to state for AVC since 1997, and it is the third time a John Taylor-coached Marauder team has gotten to the quarterfinals in his seven years, including the last two years. Except for Yuba, which AVC lost to in the semifinals in 2012, AVC has not faced any northern team in this year's Elite Eight. The only other team in the final eight AVC has faced this year is No. 1 south Fullerton, which beat the Marauders in the championship game of the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament. The Hornets lead the series with AVC 6-3, and are 1-0 against them in playoffs. AVC leads the San Diego City (which AVC could meet in the semis if both win on Thursday) 4-2, but lost the only playoff game between them. East LA leads the series 4-3, and the two teams have split playoff games. Interestingly in the playoffs, both teams have scored over 100 points in their match-ups and AVC "leads" 230-229 in those two games.
MARAUDERS AT STATE
The state championships, or what Marauder Sports Information is calling the state championships, is any time that the North plays the South in the first round. For instance, while AVC played in the quarterfinals last year, there were only four teams in the "state championships" and AVC lost to Chaffey so did not "get to state."
That stated, this is the eighth appearance in the state championships, and the lowest seeding, with a fourth in the south. The other appearances include:
Year Seed Result
2012 2s Lost in Semis
2007 3s Lost in Finals
2004 1s Lost in Semis
1997 2s Lost in Quarterfinals
1964 Consolation Champions
1956 Lost in Finals
1953 4th Place
The Marauders have now made playoffs for 27 of the last 28 seasons, and the last 10 straight. AVC is on a four game winning streak, a two game winning streak away from Chelette Court. They are on a three game winning streak in the playoffs and a two game winning streak away from Chelette Court in the playoffs after snapping a six game losing steak with the win against Saddleback.
Marauder Men's Basketball, which finished third in the Western State East, place two players on the All-Conference team.
Those named included Jailen Gill, who led the Marauders in scoring and was second in rebounding - though tops during the conference season and Antone Warren who led the Marauders in rebounding and was third in scoring.
Warren has a 63.0 field goal shooting percentage, which is currently fourth in the state, and was tops in conference. Gill sports a 61.7 percentage, which was second in conference.
Cory Dollarhide, who leads the Marauders in three pointers and is the current AVC career leader in free throw percentage was named Honorable Mention.
John Taylor is in his seventh season as the Marauder head coach, and is in his seventh playoffs with the team. In 2013-14 he guided the men to the best record in southern California and a Western State South title. He was also named WSS Coach of the Year. Taylor was named WSC women's Coach of the Year in 1995-96, and was tabbed as the Foothill Conference women's Coach of the Year in 2002-03 and 2003-04. He has crafted a 525-239 (.685) record overall, and his teams now play in the playoffs for the 21st straight season, and his teams have won 20 games in 15 straight seasons (eight with the women). He now has the distinction of being the second coach to coach both a men's and women's team to the final four. He did it with the Marauder women in 2007, but lost in the semi-finals to Pasadena and then with the men in 2012, losing to Yuba in the semifinals. Tom Gilcrest of Sequoias won state championships with both the Giant's men and women. Taylor is 159-55 (.743) as the Marauders' men's coach In the last regular season game in 2016-17, Taylor won his 400th game as a Marauder head coach. He began the 2010-11 season as both men's and women's coach. His women Marauder teams were 241-103 overall and included six Foothill Conference championships - four straight from 2003 to 2006 and this season. AVC finished second in the Foothill Conference in his first two seasons, before 2002-03's undefeated in conference champion team and again this season. He guided AVC to ten straight seasons of 19 wins or more and the playoffs each year. In 2006-07 he became the winningest Marauder women's basketball coach with win 143 and in 2007-08 season coached the Marauders to his 100th Foothill Conference win.