Vaqueros Look Impressive in Second Day of Tournament

Robert Radich

Los Angeles Harbor College became a two-time loser to Glendale College just 10 games into the 2007-08 season and fell to the Vaqueros 85-67 on Dec 7. “The [Harbor] team we just played was not that great,” said Vaquero forward Kevin Dancer. “Any win is a good win after a disappointing loss to a great team.” said Dancer about Glendale’s 68-60 loss to Irvine Valley. Glendale had also beaten Harbor 100-79 on Nov. 21.

Harbor began this game with an early 6-0 lead, but it didn’t take long for Vaquero guard Robert Valentine to cut that lead in half with a three-pointer to give Glendale their first field goal of the game. As the game went on, Harbor appeared inconsistent both passing and shooting. Therefore, the Vaqueros took full advantage of their mistakes and capitalized them with fast break points and open shots from outside.

Dancer was a catalyst early for the Vaqs as he slammed home a couple of dunks, including one fantastic finish mid-way through the first-half. Guard Jose Garcia was able to poke away the ball from the defender and lob it cross-court to Valentine, so he could set up Dancer for a thunderous two-hand slam.

The first half played out well for the Vaqueros as they ran into the locker rooms with a comfortable 46-27 half time lead. “The team moved the ball well and played much better than yesterday, that’s for sure,” said freshman guard Hamlet Hovhasesian.

Hovhasesian, a freshman from Glendale High, was in street clothes for their game against Harbor due to a separated shoulder that occurred in practice the week before. But his presence was not needed on the court that night. He will be sidelined until January.

The second half for the Vaqueros had signs of inconsistence of boxing out their opponents, especially Harbor Sophomore Charles Jenkins. Jenkins snatched a game high 16 rebounds and complemented them with 20 points.

“We’ve got a lot to improve on, like rebounding and boxing out,” said Vaquero freshman guard Zareh Zagaryan. “We’re undersized, so we have to put a body on someone to fight for those rebounds.” Zagaryan had a good game going, 7-12 with 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Vaquero head coach Brian Beauchemin felt the rebounding was a vital problem in the teams’ performance this season.

“We came out pretty slow today, but they reorganized themselves and so that’s a great part of this team, they don’t have to be reminded,” said Beauchemin. “Also, we didn’t block out too well and we forced a lot of plays, which resulted in some turnovers.”

Brazilian born freshman forward, Tulio Yamasita received some playing time for the Vaqueros as he dropped four points and grabbed three rebounds coming off the bench. Yamasita has been in America for three months and is still adjusting to the junior college level.

“The Junior College level is different because it’s more physical than technical,” said Yamasita. “I’m happy to improve on different parts of my game such as my inside and outside defense, boxing out, and rebounding.”

The second half was all Vaqueros and their heavy D[defense] that they are known for, prevented any sort of comeback from Harbor. The Vaquero defense stole the ball six times, blocked six shots and forced 20 turnovers as they cruised to the victory.

The next game for the Vaqueros will be the Vaquero Classic. It is an eight team tournament starting tonight and running through Saturday at Verdugo Gym. Glendale faces Rio Hondo at 7:00 p.m. tonight.