The Saddleback basketball team opened the playoffs with a 79-54 Win over MiraCosta College on Saturday night at the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos advance to play Bakersfield College on Wednesday at home.
Saddleback trailed only once in the opening minute of the game, but quickly regained the lead and never looked back. The Gauchos went on a 19-7 run to close the half, taking a 34-20 into the locker rooms. Devonte Klines had a big first half, scoring nine points while the Gauchos held a 24-16 advantage on the glass.
Saddleback came out quickly in the second half, opening up a 20-point lead in the first five minutes. The Gauchos started to work the ball inside with easy baskets from Breaon Brady and Lyle Hexom. Klines got back into the action as well, driving home a three-pointer with 2:35 remaining to up the lead to 21 as MiraCosta had no answers in the defensive end. Saddleback had a chance to empty out the bench in the final minutes. The crowd erupted when Hayden Fredrick drove to the basket for a layup with 39 seconds remaining to up the lead to 79-51.
Klines finished with a game-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, making 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Brady finished with 16 points, 13 of which came in the second half.
Saddleback was good at taking away MiraCosta leading scorer Buddha Boyd, who finished with 15 points but was frustrated in the offensive end. Boyd made 5-of-12 shots from the field, but the Gaucho defense did a great job of denying him the ball and limiting his opportunities. The Spartans shot just 29% from the field for the game, making 5-of-22 from three-point range.
Saddleback advances to the third round of the playoffs and will host Bakersfield College on Wednesday night after the Renegades defeated Moorpark College, 96-78, on Friday night. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Wednesday.