The Saddleback Gauchos took care of business in the Bill Brummel Classic semifinals on Friday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium, defeating Los Angeles Trade Tech 99-66. The Gauchos have now won 10 straight games and will face Long Beach City College in the finals on Saturday.
Trade Tech played tough through the first nine minutes, leading 16-14 and making a number of shots from the outside. The Beavers, however, couldn't build the damn quick enough over the last 11 minutes of the half as Saddleback scored 35 of the next 45 points in taking a 49-26 lead into the locker room at intermission. Dusty Baker was red hot from the outside, making 4-of-4 from three-point range in finishing with 16 first-half points. Baker was more than just a big shooter in the first half, finishing with a team-high six rebounds. The Gauchos also made 12-of-14 from the free throw line and had a 24-14 advantage on the glass in building an unsurmountable lead.
Saddleback emptied out the bench in the second half as the lead hovered around 20 for the first 10 minutes. The Gaucho depth again proved to be too much for Trade Tech as Saddleback made yet another run to stretch the lead to 30 when Hayden Fredrick (pictured) drained a 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining for an 86-56 lead. It reached a boiling point moments later when Carlos Jimenez buried a shot from the corner for a 32-point lead.
Saddleback finished shooting 54% from the field, making good on 9-of-17 from beyond the arc. They also made good on 28-of-33 free throws and held a 42-26 advantage in rebounds. Jalen Hall had a quiet 17 points off the bench while Baker finished with a team-high 18 points for the game.
Saddleback has now won 10 straight games in improving to 15-1. The Gauchos will face Long Beach City College in the tournament finals tomorrow afternoon after the Vikings defeated Chaffey College in the other semifinal. Tipoff is set for 4:00 PM.