Saddleback got at least 20 points from three starters in a 99-81 victory over Antelope Valley in the second round of the Southern California men's basketball playoffs Wednesday in Mission Viejo.
Eric Ambrozich scored 25, Anthony Carter had 24 and Micah Kroeger 21 for the Gauchos (27-5). Saddleback plays at Los Angeles City Saturday and the winner advances to the State tournament.
Ambrozich was most impressive in the first half, making nine of 10 shots--including his first three-pointer--to total 20 points. His short jumper with 8 minutes 34 seconds left in the first half gave Saddleback a 34-15 lead. It also gave Ambrozich a 16-15 lead over Antelope Valley (24-9).
Ambrozich was 11 of 14 from the field and Carter made 12 of 18 shoots, including two dunks off of lob passes from Frank Allen, who had 12 assists. Carter had nine. The Gauchos shot 60% (40 of 69).
Saddleback led by as many as 17 in the first half and led, 49-35, at the break. The Gauchos increased the lead to as many as 28 points, 71-43, with 11:45 left.
"Everything was feeling wrong yesterday in practice," Ambrozich said. "But today it was feeling good."