#1 seed Gauchos basketball team prepares for Saturday night playoff game

Gauchos leading scorer and OEC First Team selection Darnell Taylor drives for the basket in a midseason matchup against Irvine Valley. Taylor averaged 11.8 points per game through the season. (Michael Grennell)

Michael Grennell

The Saddleback men’s basketball team will open their playoff run on Saturday, Mar. 2 at 7 p.m. as they play host to the Citrus College Owls.

The Gauchos ended the regular season on a 15 game winning streak, as they finished with a perfect 12-0 record in Orange Empire Conference play. Saddleback will look for continued production from OEC co-MVPs McKay LaSalle and Josh Smith, as well as All-OEC First Team selections Darnell Taylor and Carlton Hayes. Along with his players, Saddleback Coach Andy Ground was recognized in the OEC awards, as he was named OEC Coach of the Year.

This won’t be the first time that the Gauchos and the Owls meet in the playoffs, as Saddleback defeated Citrus College in the state semi-finals during the 2009-10 season. The Gauchos went on to win the state title that year. 

Saddleback radio station KSBR will be streaming audio and video coverage of the game from their website.

OEC Regular Season Awards

Men’s Basketball Playoff Bracket

KSBR website

Saddleback coach Andy Ground (in red) watches from the bench during the second half of the Gauchos 51-49 win over Irvine Valley in January. Ground was named OEC coach of the year. (Michael Grennell)

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