COSTA MESA, Calif. – Lions' fans packed The Pit on Saturday to see the Golden State Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Semifinal match-up between No. 9 Vanguard and Westmont. The home crowd roared and five Blue and Gold players tallied double-figures as Vanguard took down the Warriors (18-12) 80-70 to advance to the league's championship game.
The Pride (26-6) will host No. 23 Hope International (22-9) in the tournament finale, which is to be held in The Pit on Tuesday, March 11th at 8:00 pm. The competition will be televised by FOX College Sports and FOX Prime Ticket.
Senior Preston Wynne (Wellpinit, Wash.) finished with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and a team-best 23 points, while junior Keith Mason (Carson, Calif.) scored 10 and grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds en route to his third double-double of 2014.
Vanguard got an impressive 15 points from senior Noel Larkins (Placentia, Calif.) off of the bench. Larkins played 19 minutes and made the most of his time, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor and sinking three from behind the 3-point arc for the Lions.
The Pride scratched and clawed back from an eight-point deficit midway through the first half to mount a 12-point lead in the final four minutes of the semifinal before claiming the 80-70 win.
The contest was deadlocked at 36-all as the Lions and Warriors headed to the respective locker rooms at halftime.
There were seven ties and six lead changes in the affair.
Juniors DeAngelo Jones (Cheney, Wash.) and Chris Gorman (Oceanside, Calif.) recorded 19 and 10 points, respectively, on the night. Both players garnered 3 assists and 3 steals in the victory.
Westmont's C.J. Miller led all players with 27 points.