Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
COMPTON - The Marauder men's basketball team suffered a tough loss, 80-77, at the hands of one of the conference favorites, Citrus, Tuesday evening in the semifinals of the Compton Tartar Classic.
With the loss, the Marauders will face another conference opponent, Glendale, on Wednesday for third place of the tournament after the Vaqueros lost to Chaffey in the other semifinal game.
AVC led 63-55 with eight minutes remaining in the second half, but much like early in the season the Marauders couldn't hold the lead. The Owls chipped away and after AVC led 71-65 with less than six minutes remaining, Citrus promptly went on a 9-0 run to reclaim the lead, 74-71.
Both teams battled and AVC's Jamar Kemp hit a bucket with 16 seconds left to tie the score 77-77. However, the Owls' Kyle Gray, who finished with a game-high 27 points on an efficient 11-of-14 shooting, converted a conventional 3-point play on the ensuing possession to give Citrus an 80-77 lead. Jones' 3-pointer was off the mark with two seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Owls.
AVC couldn't buy a 3-point basket as it was 1-of-11 from beyond the arc, the lone one coming from Floyd late in the second half. The Owls were 9-of-25 from 3-point land.
Both teams will face each other at least two more times this season.