Vaqueros Thunder Past Olympians


CROSS OVER: Vaquero guard Jalen Etienne, left, drives past San Diego Mesa guard Vincent Petties-Wilson, right, on Nov. 27 in the Verdugo Gym.

Jonathan Williams, Sports Editor

The Vaqueros fought their way atop Mount Olympus and the conference in 75-52 rout of San Diego Mesa on Nov. 27.

The Olympians arrived late to warm-ups due to the holiday traffic plague sweeping Southern California’s highways the night before Thanksgiving.

When Mesa finally arrived, there was 20 minute delay. Referee John Paul Guerrero had to leave the Verdugo gym because he had made a promise to have Thanksgiving dinner with his daughter and, because of the delay, he knew he wouldn’t finish on time. A new official had to be found. An hour after the initial game time, the whistle sounded and the jump ball was tossed.

Early in the ball game, Glendale star forward Gor Plavchyan and Olympian forward Darreon Tolliver battled all night for position down low to the point where the refs told them to take it easy.

Eventually, in the second half things got a little too physical. Plavchyan and Tolliver went up for a rebound and grasped the ball. Elbows flew and bodies collided until the refs had to step in as the play was broken up. Each of the players was given a warning until the jump ball.

Plavchyan got back at Tolliver on the basketball court, putting up huge numbers of 17 points and six rebounds. Forward Emmett Duvall followed suit to lead the team in scoring with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

The Vaqueros wing players got into the mix with 38 points and six three pointers.

“I thought our ball movement was much better in the second half,” said head coach Brian Beauchemin. “I thought in the first half we broke it off early on some things.”

Glendale shot the ball at a mere 26 percent from three-point land in the first half compared to the 49 percent in the second.

On defense, the Vaqs dominated the second half and held San Diego Mesa to 18 points and 28 percent field goal shooting. Coach Beauchemin told his team at halftime to hold the Olympians to under 20 points in the second half.

“We held them to 19,” Beauchemin said after the game.

Beauchemin also said that the coaches were a little frustrated with some of the shots Glendale put up in the game rather than finding a more open shot. The Vaqueros are off to their best start in two seasons and ranked 22nd in the state, according to the Massey ratings poll.

“I think our parts all mesh. We got a shooting guy, we got another guy that can do somethings at the other end,” said Beauchemin. “Our point guards are very valuable to us, they break things down and our two big guys are pretty legit.”

GCC’s next challenge will come at the Antelope Valley tournament against San Bernardino on Dec. 4 through 6.

With Thanksgiving a few hours ahead of him, Beauchemin said how he was going to spend his holiday with a laugh.

“I’m going over to my daughters house and these people are going to pester the hell out of me but we are going to have a really good time.”