first-round game of the Vaquero Classic. The Vaqueros (5-8) will meet
Bakersfield in a championship semifinal contest at 7 p.m. today at
It proved to be a sharp contrast from the first half, when GCC
surrendered 13 field goals. The Vaqueros benefited from playing the
Roadrunners for the third time since Nov. 13.
GCC Coach Brian Beauchemin said the Vaqueros put their thinking
caps on and forced Rio Hondo (1-10) to make more decisions with its
"I told them they had to guard better," Beauchemin said. "Our
problem was that we played a horrible first half. We limited our
turnovers in the second half.
"Then we held them to 12 points in a 15-minute stretch. We've done
that a couple of times this season."
Freshman forward Mark Felder finished with a team-high 23 points
for the Vaqueros, who improved to 3-0 against the Roadrunners this
season. Rio Hondo, which lost its sixth consecutive game, will face
Compton in a consolation semifinal game at 5 p.m. today at GCC.
The Vaqueros, who have won four consecutive contests against Rio
Hondo since the start of last season, also received a game-high five
assists from forward Justin Truman.
"Felder's played with feistiness and he's starting to put things
together," Beauchemin said. "I think it helped us being familiar with
Rio Hondo built a 21-12 lead midway through the first half. GCC's
Alton Preston, who finished with 11 points, gave the Vaqueros their
first lead when he scored on a layup to make it 23-21 with 7:18
The Roadrunners opened up a 38-32 lead early in the second quarter
and became embattled in a field-goal drought. The Vaqueros took
advantage of Rio Hondo's lackluster offense and grabbed a 50-43 lead
on a layup by Felder with 9:30 left.