Men Finish Second in Tournament

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">EDDIE ALVAREZ
El Vaquero Staff Writer

November has arrived at Glendale which means it’s once again time for Thanksgiving, early Christmas sales, and basketball season.

The Vaqueros (2-1) kicked off the 2003-2004 season by hosting the annual Vaquero Tip-Off tournament. Four teams from around the area competed in this early season tournament to try to work out the faults before the full schedule begins in a few weeks. The Vaqueros hosted the Victor Valley College Rams, Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros, and Citrus College Owls in the two day tournament.

The men’s basketball team started the season on the right foot, going on an 11-0 run to open the game against Victor Valley on Nov. 8. After allowing the lead to slip away, the Vaqueros came back for the 104-97 win, but could not produce the same intensity when they lost 74-68 against Santa Barbara in the tournament final Nov. 9.

The men were impressive in their first game of the season. They ran on all cylinders staying focused, despite some early troubles on defense. With the lead all but vanished at half time 44-42, the Vaqueros turned to the sophomores for some help.

Justin Turman, Mark Felder, and Travis Bean provided the leadership to spark the second half rally. Turman and Felder, who lead the team with 18 points a piece, came through in the second half on both sides of the court with great defensive stops late in the game. Felder had a quiet first half scoring only 4 points, but ran the show in the second half for the Vaqueros scoring 14 points.

The Vaqueros offensive barrage of 59 second half points, and timely defense, was just too much for the Rams. The spark that the Vaqueros had against the Rams was gone by the time they met SBCC for the tournament championship.

The Vaqueros struggled to keep pace with Santa Barbara, as Felder and Turman combined for only 23 points in the loss. The bench did not help much either. Bean was only able to score four points in a disappointing loss for Head Coach Brian Beauchemin and his staff. GCC tried to keep it close all game, but the missed opportunities were much for the Vaqueros.
“We didn’t have the desire or passion to play the game, like we did Saturday, which was very disappointing,” said Beauchemin. “But we have all made a commitment to not let that happen ever again.”

It is still early in the season and after 25 years and 430 wins, coach Beauchemin knows what it will take for the long road ahead of them.

“This season is a marathon not a sprint,” the coach said. “We have to be able to be committed to everything we do, which means having the passion and desire to play every game.”