Vaqs earn trip to playoffs

GLENDALE — With an 18-win season and a third-place finish in what is regarded as one of the most difficult conferences in Southern California, Glendale Community College men's basketball Coach Brian Beauchemin figured his team's body of work stood out.

After the Vaqueros closed out their regular season with a 76-57 Western State Conference Southern Division victory against visiting Bakersfield College on Saturday night, Beauchemin waited, confident that his team would get an invitation to compete in the Southern California Regionals.

Beauchemin got the word Monday afternoon that Glendale would be a part of the postseason picture after the regional bracket was unveiled.

Fourteenth-seeded Glendale will play host to 17th-seeded Long Beach City College in an opening-round game at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will face top-seeded Mount San Antonio College on the road at 7 p.m. Saturday in a second-round game.

"We had three teams from our division who made it in Santa Monica City College, Citrus and us," said Beauchemin, who will guide the Vaqueros to their 21st playoff appearance since taking over the program in 1979. "We had a good preseason record at 11-5, and I thought anything between six to eight wins [in the division] would get us in.

"I thought when we won our last two games [against College of the Canyons and Bakersfield] that we had a good shot at getting in."

The Vaqueros (18-10, 7-5 in the division) will make their first appearance in the regionals since 2008, when they advanced to the second round. Long Beach is 14-11, 9-4 for second place in the South Coast Conference's Southern Division.

Santa Monica earned a three seed and Citrus drew a fourth. The Vaqueros split four games against the two teams this season, another reason for Beauchemin's believing the Vaqueros had a shot at qualifying for the postseason.

"I think we have earned our way in," said Beauchemin, whose team will play its first home playoff contest since 2001. "Now, we need to take advantage of being here and we are at our best from a health standpoint.

"It's good to be home. Everything has to be a fine line. Whoever you play now is going to be a good team."

In 2008 as an 18th seed, Glendale opened the regionals with a 99-90 win against host Compton College. The Vaqueros then suffered a 99-68 road loss against second-seeded Fullerton College.

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