With just three games remaining in the regular season and both teams needing as many wins as possible for a chance at a playoff berth, the Barstow Community College men's and women's basketball teams were both in action Saturday. Unfortunately, neither squad was able to get an all-important 'W'.
BARSTOW • The men's team was at home, hosting Chaffey College. The Panthers are a perenially strong club which never makes things easy for the Vikings, and they continued their dominance, taking a 100-73 win.
Though the Panthers led the entire way, building up a lead largely on the strength of their perimeter shooting, the home team kept it close through the first half, and into the second. When there were about eight minutes left, the strain began to show for the Vikings, who had a bench of four players, to the Panthers' 10.
"They have several guys who can shoot, and they have a deep bench," said Vikings head coach Reggie Howard. "We knew that if we wanted to make playoffs, this is a game we had to win."
It was a daunting task just based on the Panthers' record, as they were going for their 21st victory of the season. The Vikings are also having trouble with injuries, with four players currently sidelined. That led to Chaffey being able to run fresh legs out on the court on a regular basis, while the Barstow players racked up the floor time.
The Panthers jump-started themselves early by knocking down three's. They went 9-for-13 from beyond the arc in the first half, with four of those coming from Justin Long, who, if blocked out, would let the ball fly from almost midcourt if needed. The Vikings got three's from Josh Perdue and Denzel McCloney, in trying to keep pace.
While McCloney's nine points led the Vikings in the first, six other players scored in the half. With all those players getting in on the offense, it helped offset all those outside buckets Chaffey was sinking. By halftime, the game was still very much in reach for the home team, which trailed, 47-36.
There was more of the same in the second half. While Barstow began to weary, the Panthers kept rotating players, four of whom scored their first points in the game's last minutes. They had opened up a 20-point lead with just under eight to go, and maintained it.
McCloney led the Vikings' offense with 17 points and five rebounds, while Jeremiah Wilson had 12 points and six boards, and Richard Stamps, 11 points. Shey Mataele contributed nine points and five assists, and Emani Gant six points, five rebounds and five assists.
There were 12 Panthers in the scoring column, with Sango Niang out front with 23 points, and Long right behind with 22.
The win gives Chaffey an overall record of 21-6, 10-2 in the Foothill Conference, with Barstow falling to 7-15, 5-7.
While being so badly outmanned certainly causes a team extra hardship, coach Howard thought there was something lacking in his team's overall performance.
"For part of the game we just didn't show up. This is the first time in a while that we laid down; we've been in almost every game," he said.
There's one home game left for the Vikings, this Wednesday night, as they host Victor Valley for a 7 p.m. start. The season wraps next Saturday at Rio Hondo.
Women fall to Marauders
VICTORVILLE • The BCC women were at Antelope Valley on Saturday, and lost to the Lady Marauders, 78-45.
Antelope was consistent on offense, scoring 39 points in each half. The Lady Vikings were held to 16 points in the first 20 minutes, but did better in the second, netting 29.
The Vikings were paced by Shante Thomas' 16 points, to which she added four rebounds, four steals and a block. Shawnequa Norwood was next with 11 points. Yvette Bennett led the Marauders with 20 points, while Mikelsha Moore notched a double-double, 14 points, 12 rebounds.
With the loss, Barstow is now 11-15 overall, 5-7 in the Foothill, with AVCC improving to 13-13, 8-4.
The Lady Vikings will host Victor Valley for a 5 p.m. tip-off on Wednesday, and will be at Rio Hondo on Saturday.