College in a semifinal game of the Vaquero Classic on Friday night.
GCC (7-4) will face Antelope Valley College in the championship
contest for the second consecutive year at 7 p.m. today at home. The
Vaqueros fell to Falcons, 87-66, in the title game Dec. 20.
Pierce (3-7) will take on Orange Coast College in the third-place
game at 5 p.m., and Rio Hondo College will meet Cerritos College in
the fifth-place game at 3 p.m.
GCC struggled to beat Pierce for the second time this season. The
Vaqueros handed the Brahmas a 64-63 nonconference loss on Nov. 17.
On Friday, the Vaqueros nursed a 75-73 lead when Pierce's Junior
Rodriguez took a jump shot that bounced off the front of the rim with
11 seconds left. Rodriguez and Jester battled for the ball and had
possession at the same time, but the Vaqueros had the possession
arrow in their favor.
GCC's Kalen Mahoney was then fouled with eight seconds left, and
made the first of two free throws to make it 76-73.
Then Newton stole the ball near midcourt and was fouled. He made
one more free throw to seal the victory.
GCC sophomore forward Durwin Williams scored a game-high 24
points. The 6-foot-6 Williams added 14 rebounds, five steals and
three assists to help GCC win its second straight contest.
Newton contributed 16 points, and Antony Phillips added 12 points
for the Vaqueros.
Richard Jenkins paced Pierce with 20 points