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image c/o JP Westerbeck
image c/o JP Westerbeck

Bobcats go cold in regional finals

The Saddleback men's basketball season came to a close on Saturday night with a 74-43 loss to West Los Angeles College in the 3C2A Regional Finals in Culver City.  The Bobcats finished the season 17-14 overall.

Saddleback had a magical run through the playoffs up until the regional finals when the shooting went ice cold.  The Bobcats shot just 30% from the field while making only 7-of-31 attempts from three-point range (23%).  They also found a lid on the basket while at the free throw line, making only 6-of-14 shots from the charity stripe. 

Saddleback never led, falling behind on the opening possession and trying to play catchup the rest of the way. John McFadden made a shot to cut the deficit to 5-6 at 15:42 of the opening half, but then the team went silent for the next 2.5 minutes while West Los Angeles was building up a 12-5 advantage. 

Saddleback cut the deficit to 14-9 with 12 minutes remaining in the half when the Wildcats took control.  West LA scored 14 straight points in taking a 28-9 lead, thus putting the Bobcats in a massive hole.  West LA would carry a 40-19 lead into the locker rooms at the intermission after Saddleback shot just 27% from the field while getting outrebounded, 26-13.

James Burries did the best he could to keep Saddleback within an arm's length of West Los Angeles.  Burries led the team with 16 points, making 4-of-7 shots from beyond the arc.  John McFadden led the Bobcats with 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough as West Los Angeles looked like a team on a mission while improving to 26-4 on the season.  The Wildcats will now advance to the 3C2A State Tournament next Friday-Sunday at Mt. San Antonio College.