Saddleback forward Daniel Young (No. 35, white jersey) goes up for a layup in-between multiple Orange Coast College defenders. The Gauchos men’s basketball team defeated OCC, 78-43. (Nick Nenad/Lariat)
The Saddleback College basketball teams split their matchups against conference rival Orange Coast College on Friday. The women’s team lost a heartbreaker, 48-46 and the men’s team clobbered the Pirates, 78-43.
On the women’s side, RaShawna Williams led the Gauchos in scoring, with 13 points, and Angela Steel led in rebounds, 13, and blocks, 3. The women’s team’s season ended because of the loss, finishing with an underwhelming 10-20 overall record and 3-9 Orange Empire Conference record.
“I think we just had a great bunch of kids, they battled hard and we had some injuries throughout, but we just didn’t shot the ball well,” Saddleback women’s basketball head coach Fentriss Winn said. “We thought we’d shot the ball a lot better … it comes down to shooting.”
Saddleback’s Bryanna Lopez (No. 10, white jersey) shoots over an Orange Coast College player’s extended arm. The Gauchos women’s basketball team ended their season with a 10-20 overall record after losing to the Pirates, 48-46. (Nick Nenad/Lariat)
The men’s team had a much better day, collecting their 27th win of the season and ending the season undefeated against OEC competition. The Gauchos only had one loss the entire year and ended their 2016 campaign with a 21-game winning streak, the second longest in Saddleback history.
“It was great to go 12-0 in our conference; it was a big goal for us,” Saddleback forward Daniel Young said. “We all want another ring, to go back-to-back, and make a big name for the school.”
Young was a big part of the win, getting a team-high 15 points and six rebounds. Freshman T.J. Shorts was also a big part of the blowout win, adding 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals.
More reasons for the Gauchos win was due to the fact they destroyed the Pirates in the paint, outscoring them, 30-14, and bench points, winning the battle, 50-14. Saddleback head coach Andy Ground was frustrated by the bench’s play, even with the lopsided result.
“I was frustrated that we didn’t take care of the ball and execute like we are capable of executing,” said Ground. “We kept turning the ball over, were playing at way to fast of a pace … and we were just making tons of mistakes, because we were playing way to fast.”
Ground also stressed before the game that the Gauchos did not take OCC lightly, due to the Pirates having a 10-15 record coming into the contest.
“This is not any easy team to play. They pose a lot of different problems, at their place it was a very close game, and so anything can happen in the [conference].”
Saddleback will have to wait until Monday to find out what seed they will be for the upcoming state playoffs. Ground believes the team will be the number one seed, having lost only one game the entire season.
The playoffs will start next Saturday, at a time still to be determined. The Gauchos won the state championship last season, defeating East Los Angeles College, 50-47. Saddleback is on a quite a roll, having only lost three games since the 2013-14 season.
Gauchos forward Breaon Brady (white jersey, in the air)passes away from multiple Pirates players as his teammates look on. Saddleback’s men’s basketball team finished the regular season on a 21-game winning streak and had a 27-1 overall record. (Nick Nenad/Lariat)