The Saddleback men's basketball team won the Bill Brummel Classic with a 62-51 win over Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday afternoon at the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos turned up the defense, holding the Eagles to 33% shooting for the day.
Saddleback led 31-20 after 20 minutes, holding a potent MSJC attack to just 30% shooting in the half. T.J. Shorts had 13 first-half points as the Eagles had no answer in the offensive end of the court. When Mt. San Jacinto missed, Saddleback rebounded as the Eagles had zero bench points in the opening 20 minutes.
The Eagles made a run to start the second half, outscoring the Gauchos 12-5 in closing the gap to 36-32. The Gauchos responded with a 7-0 run as Devonte Klines buried a three-pointer with 12:41 remaining and then fed Charles Trotter for an easy layup on the next possession. The next time down the court Daniel Young tipped in a basket and the Saddleback lead was back to 43-32, thwarting the comeback attempt.
Saddleback finished 6-for-13 from long range on the day as Klines was 3-for-6 and Josh Mishler was 2-of-4. The offensive catalyst all day was Shorts, who scored a game-high 19 points. Shorts was a workhorse on both ends, playing 38 minutes and earning the tournament Most Valuable Player award following the game.
The defense was dominant. Brandon Fagins was a force, finishing with six blocked shots in 21 minutes on the court. He was recognized after the game with all-tournament status, also totaling six rebounds.
The bench was also key, outscoring the Eagles 18-4 for the day. Lyle Hexom scored 11 off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes.
Saddleback improved to 14-1 on the season with the win. The Gauchos will play again on December 30 when they host Glendale College. Tip time is scheduled for 3:00 PM.