NORTHEAST GLENDALE — For all of the complaining about the officiating, there was one other aspect of Wednesday's Southern California Regional playoff game that couldn't be overlooked.
"Rebounding," Glendale Community College men's basketball Coach Brian Beauchemin said. "Rebounding killed us."
It also led to the end of GCC's season, as Long Beach City College eliminated the Vaqueros from the playoffs with an 82-73 victory at Glendale college in the first round of the postseason.
Before mentioning rebounding, Beauchemin talked about the officiating, and the 75 combined free-throw attempts and the 55 fouls. But he quickly realized another number: 15. That's how many more offensive rebounds the Vikings had than his Vaqueros, finishing the game with a 24-9 advantage.
Long Beach (15-11) had 46 total rebounds and the Vaqueros (18-11) had 29.
"That's the game right there for us," Vaquero assistant coach Vigen Jilizian said. "That's the first time we've been outrebounded on the offensive end all year. We have guys who can rebound, but were playing the game with their hands in their pockets because of foul trouble."
A Long Beach offensive rebound with 90 seconds remaining proved to be the difference.
With his team trailing, 73-71, Long Beach's Kyle Clark stepped to the free-throw line for a pair of shots. Clark sank the first free throw, but missed the second. The ball bounced back to him and he grabbed the rebound and hit a short jumper for a 74-73 Viking lead.
The Vaqueros never scored again, as they were outscored, 11-0, in the final 2:33. Robert Mandingo had six of his team's points during the run, four of which came at the free-throw line.
The Vaqueros and the Vikings each had issues with the referees each time a player stepped to the line.
"I don't know what happened," Beauchemin said. "Everything was a free throw. I don't know if there was a rhyme or reason to the whole game. [Both teams] shot 75 free throws. Holy Cow. There was no rhythm."
Both teams played an up-tempo game that featured a combined 126 shots, including 36 three-point attempts.
"We wanted to run on them," Beauchemin said. "But every time we had something going, there was a whistle. How can you watch a game with 75 free-throw shots? Let them play.
"It's pretty frustrating. Very frustrating."
Beauchemin was frustrated because three of his starters, all sophomores, fouled out. Long Beach – which was led by Raynard Tyler's 17 points -- also had two of its starters foul out.
Narbeh Ebrahimian had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in his Vaquero finale, and Suilaiman Sekamwa had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Nikolas Rhodes had 12 points.
"The foul trouble limited us because of our depth," Beauchemin said. "It changed everything."