Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
LANCASTER - The Marauder men's basketball team couldn't put an entire game together and lost to De Anza, 77-73, in the semifinals of the 66th Annual Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament, Saturday evening.
AVC trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half but rallied to only trail by three entering the locker room.
The Marauders, which only led once in the game but had numerous opportunities to take the lead at several different points in the second half, trimmed a 10-point deficit in the second half to only one. However, the Marauders could not hit the timely shot when they needed it as the Dons continued to extend their lead.
"We weren't ready to play tonight. We have to work more on finishing. When we're only one possession away we have to flip the switch and turn it on," AVC's Osi Nwachukwu said. "We have been playing selfish and we have to play for each other. We have spurts of that, but we have to put teams away and play for the full 40 minutes."
Still as sporadically as the Marauders played they still had an opportunity to tie the game.
De Anza led 76-70 with less than a minute remaining. AVC's Julian Payton converted a 3-point play to cut the lead to three points. Only seconds later the Dons were forced to call two timeouts because it had trouble getting the ball in play. Finally after they did, they were forced into a jump ball giving the ball back to AVC with 10.9 seconds remaining. D'Mauria Jones missed a 3-pointer to tie the game with 0.6 seconds remaining and one free throw by De Anza preserved the victory.
Nwachuku led AVC with 22 points and Jones added 19 points.
The Dons will face San Bernardino Valley in the title game at 5pm, while the Marauders will play for third place at 3pm against Ventura.