GLENDALE — The front court is the strength of the Glendale Community College men’s basketball team.
Sophomore forwards Gor Plavchyan and Emmett Duvall have been the Vaqueros’ leading scorers and rebounders throughout the young campaign, allowing Glendale to win six of its first eight games.
Plavchyan and Duvall led the way in the Vaqueros’ ninth game of the season, as well.
The duo combined for 45 points and 27 rebounds to lead Glendale to an 88-72 victory against Victor Valley on Wednesday in a first-round game of the Vaquero Classic.
“That’s what they should do,” said Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin, whose team will play Cuyamoca in a semifinal game at 4 p.m. Friday. “Our big guys played pretty good.”
One half of the powerful duo deflected praise to the other.
“Gor is the anchor,” Duvall said.
“No, no,” Plavchyan responded. “We’re all equal.”
Plavchyan and Duvall each did damage with their post moves, passes and on fastbreaks.
Plavchyan, his team’s leading scorer at 18.8 points per game, powered his way to a season-high 24 points and 16 rebounds, in addition to dishing out three assists. Duvall, second on the team with 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, added 21 points and 11 rebounds in an efficient seven-for-12 performance from the field.
Plavchyan and Duvall had to have an impressive game to neutralize the play of Kevin Lawson, the state’s leading scorer at 25.6 points per game.
Lawson, a sophomore guard out of Texas, had a game-high 34 points on 12 of 22 shooting for Victor Valley (10-4).
“He’s talented,” Beauchemin said. “We tried everything on him.”
The Vaqueros slowed down the 6-foot-3 guard enough to build a comfortable lead in the final eight minutes of the first half.
With the score tied at 26 and neither team able to build much of an advantage, Glendale went on a torrid run as Victor Valley struggled with its shot. The Vaqueros ended the half on a 20-4 run that gave them a 46-30 lead.
“That was the game,” Beauchemin said.
Glendale nearly threw away its lead in the final five minutes.
It led by 21, but Lawson started hitting more shots and a few sloppy passes led to easy Victor Valley baskets that trimmed Glendale’s lead to just seven with three minutes to play.
But Sammy Darling hit a jumper from the corner and Duvall sank a jumper near the free-throw line that eliminated any comeback hopes that a frustrated Victor Valley squad had. Victor Valley, which plays Moorpark at noon on Friday, had three technical fouls in the second half.
Jason Moore added 15 points and Darling and Jalen Etienne each added eight points for the Vaqueros. Etienne also had a game-high seven assists.
“Victor Valley is a good team,” Beauchemin said. “They won 10 games and they beat some solid teams. This was a good win.”