GLENDALE — The Glendale Community College men's basketball team remained in the hunt for a Western State Conference Southern Division championship from start to finish.
Ultimately, the Vaqueros finished third in arguably the most competitive division in Southern California and advanced to the Southern California Regionals for the first time since 2008.
Much of that happened due to the numerous contributions made by a quartet of Vaqueros — Narbeh Ebrahimian, Nikolas Rhodes, Antonio Garrett and Suilaiman Sekamwa — all of whom earned all-conference recognition as voted on by the division's seven coaches.
Ebrahimian and Rhodes were named to the first team, while Garrett and Sekamwa earned honorable mention. The Vaqueros finished 18-11 and 7-5 in the division.
"I think they are all well deserved," Glendale college Coach Brian Beauchemin said. "They all did a lot of things that warranted them being on it."
Ebrahimian, a sophomore guard, averaged 10.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. The Crescenta Valley High graduate, who recorded 62 assists, missed three division games because of mononucleosis and the Vaqueros dropped all three tilts.
Beauchemin emphasized how much the Vaqueros missed Ebrahimian's court awareness.
"Had we had him, I think we would have won [the division]," Beauchemin said. "That's just my belief and feeling.
"We could have manufactured points from him, or he could have shut down the other team [with his] defense. Offensively, he didn't have a great year, but he did a lot of other things for us."
Rhodes, a freshman, fit right into the program despite having not played at the high school level. The point guard averaged 10.6 points per game and led the team in assists with 134 and steals (51).
Beauchemin said Rhodes, who earned all-conference player of the week accolades twice, ran the Vaqueros' offense well.
"He never played high school basketball and then he is a first-teamer in our conference," Beauchemin said. "That's a pretty large jump.
"He did a lot of things for us and he got the ball into the right people at the right time."
Garrett, a sophomore guard, averaged 12 points per game and provided an offensive threat throughout the season. He averaged 1.3 blocks and grabbed 68 rebounds.
"He was great inside for us and he rebounded well," Beauchemin said. "He always commanded a double team when it came to blocking out and he just improved considerably."
Sekamwa came close to averaging a double-double on the season. The sophomore forward averaged 8.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest.
"That's incredible when you look at his final stats," Beauchemin said. "He went out there and did whatever he had to do to make us better, whether it was scoring or rebounding."