NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale Community College men's basketball team has already proven it can win a home tournament this season. The Vaqueros want to demonstrate it again.
In taking its first step to reaching that accomplishment, Glendale college made a resounding statement Wednesday night.
Glendale received 18 points from Antonio Garrett and 17 from Demitrius Perkins to pick up a convincing 102-54 victory against Rio Hondo College in an opening-round game of the Vaquero Classic.
"We've been playing pretty well in our last four or five games," said Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin, whose team shot 52.1% from the field. "We didn't give up a lot of points."
Glendale (8-3) will face Moorpark in a semifinal game at 5 p.m. Friday. Earlier Wednesday, Moorpark, behind 10 points from Crescenta Valley High graduate and reigning All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year honoree Coltraine Powdrill, rallied for a 62-56 win against Victor Valley.
The Vaqueros, who began their season by capturing the Tip-Off Classic at GCC in November, had little trouble Wednesday against the Roadrunners (1-7). Glendale raced out to a 14-2 lead on a dunk by Perkins with 14:08 left in the first half. The Vaqueros owned a 51-14 halftime advantage.
"You always want to do well in your [home] tournament," Beauchemin said. "We played them earlier in their tournament and we did a better job closing them down after they made 13 three-pointers the first time."
The Vaqueros posted a 96-76 win against the Roadrunners, who will face Victor Valley in a consolation game at 1 p.m. Friday, on Dec. 9. The Vaqueros made sure to not give the Roadrunners a chance at hanging around Wednesday.
They had no such problems. Rio Hondo made six of 32 shots from the floor, compared to Glendale converting on 17 of 37 in the opening half.
"We have got a decent group and some depth," said Beauchemin, who got 14 points from Robert McQueen and 10 from Nate Bryant. "They have been very responsive to what we are doing out there.
"Hopefully, when we play Moorpark, that can carry over."
A three-pointer by Bryant gave Glendale a 25-4 lead with 8:26 left in the first half. He later made another three-pointer to extend the Vaqueros' lead to 37-4 lead with 5:58 remaining.
The Vaqueros got five assists apiece from Perkins and Danny Lawton. Lawton and Bryant notched five and four steals, respectively. Crescenta Valley graduate Narbeh Ebrahimian, a former All-Area selection, chipped in with six points and four rebounds for the Vaqueros.
The Roadrunners got a team-high 15 points from James Hildago, 14 from Willie Duff and 10 from Jacob Garcia.
The eight-team tournament will resume today with a pair of opening-round contests. Orange Coast will face L.A. Valley at 5 p.m., followed by L.A. Pierce against L.A. Southwest at 7 p.m. The winners will meet in the other semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday.
The tournament's title game is at 5 p.m. Saturday.