GLENDALE — All it took was about 10 minutes of play for the Glendale Community College men’s basketball team to establish its dominance Wednesday evening.
The host Vaqueros, ranked 16th in state in the latest CCCMBCA poll, scored 24 of the first 27 points of Western State Conference South Division action versus visiting Los Angeles Valley College in rolling to an 82-31 victory at Verdugo Gymnasium.
With the triumph, Glendale improved to 16-4 overall, 4-2 in conference as the Vaqueros prepare for the second half of conference play.
“We got it going tonight defensively. I thought we were pretty good in the first half,” said Vaqueros Coach Brian Beauchemin, who recorded win No. 586 and closed to within two spots on the CCCAA state wins list behind No. 4 Don Johnson of Cypress College. “We’ve been playing good defense all year, but you never really expect anything like this.”
The victory was the second-largest for Glendale this season, trailing only a season-opening 105-52 win over Santa Barbara City on Nov. 14. The Vaqueros also allowed their smallest-point total of the season.
“I’m not surprised with this score. We’re a very good team and we have some talent,” said Vaqueros guard Jalen Etienne, who totaled seven points and five rebounds. “This was our bounce-back game from a tough [66-62] loss to Antelope Valley College on the weekend. We knew were capable of this.”
While Glendale didn’t exactly scorch the nets in the first half in hitting 14 of 36 shots (38.9%), the Monarchs were nearly in a half-long drought in sinking only five of 23 attempts (21.7%), while not scoring a second field goal until the seven-minute mark.
Glendale broke an early tie at 1 with 12 straight points capped on another signature alley-oop dunk from high-flying Emmett Duvall II (team-high 14 points, 10 rebounds and three assists) on an assist from sophomore Sammy Darling (10 points), as Glendale took a 13-1 advantage with 11:34 left in the half.
The Monarchs (3-15, 3-3) snapped Glendale’s run with their own dunk from freshman forward Jamin Lackey (assisted by Eric Singleton) at 12:51 that brought the score to 13-3.
The bucket provided a small reprieve as the Monarch were held without a basket for another five minutes.
During that stretch, the Vaqueros opened a second run, this time an 11-0 spurt kick-started by a four-point play from Etienne, who was fouled while burying a three-pointer and hit his subsequent free throw to put Glendale up, 17-3, with 12:24 remaining.
Glendale eventually led, 24-3, and then 26-5 after an inside bucket from Jason Moore at 7:24 and never again led by less than 20 points.
In fact, after taking that 26-5 advantage, the Vaqueros closed out the half on a 15-8 run to take a 41-14 advantage into the break.
“I was a little surprised with the score, but not with the effort. We were upset about the AVC loss,” Darling said. “We want to win this conference and we’re going to need more games like this if we want to win the championship.”
Glendale owned two specific advantages in the first half as the Vaqueros finished five from 11 from behind the arc, while winning the rebound battle, 27-16 overall, and 10-4 on the offensive glass.
Those numbers held firm in the second half as Glendale finished eight for 21 (38.1%) from the three-point line overall while crushing the Monarchs on the boards, 51-32.
The second half wasn’t much better for Los Angeles Valley, which lost the final 20 minutes by a 41-17 margin.
Glendale broke the 40-point lead barrier at 12:03 after a triple from Emerson Castaneda, formerly of St. Francis High, put the home team up, 61-40.
Duvall later gave Glendale a 72-22 lead after a pair of free throws at 7:21.
Wednesday’s game also marked the return of 6-foot-7 post player Gor Plavchyan to the Glendale lineup. The sophomore missed eight games because of a fractured wrist.
Plavchyan finished with six points in limited action.