Garrick nets 21 as Vaqueros roll
By ED PETRUSKA Casa Grande Dispatch/Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK – Although the Central Arizona College men's basketball did not surpass 100 points for the first time in three home games, the Vaqueros were plenty proficient offensively on Saturday.
Danny Garrick scored 21 points and Mattia Cafisi provided 17, as Central coasted to a 90-68 victory over the Benedictine University-Mesa junior varsity at the George Young Activity Center. Aulbrie Frazier had 12 points and Alfred Roberts and Trever Irish both scored 10 for the Vaqueros (3-3), who led by as many as 29 points.
"We needed this game to fine-tune some things" heading into Tuesday's Arizona Community College Athletic Conference opener at Scottsdale, CAC coach Tramaine Aaron said. "Our ball movement was much better and we got some steals off our press, but we still have a ways to go. I hope for our sake that we're doing the right things to get the kids ready."
The Vaqueros shot 55 percent from the field in the first half in taking a 53-35 lead. Central cooled off considerably in the final 20 minutes, shooting 37 percent while outscoring Benedictine 37-31. They finished at 47 percent, going 35 for 75 overall and 6 of 23 on 3-pointers.
"We need to be more consistent with our shooting," Aaron said. "And we need to concentrate more on defense. We gave up too many easy shots."
The Redhawks shot 37 percent. Eight of their 24 makes were 3-pointers.
Cafisi's basket in the opening minute put the Vaqueros ahead to stay at 4-2. The lead grew to 24-11 when Andrew Leonard's free throw capped a 12-0 run with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
A basket by Lonyae Jones extended the margin to 39-21 with 6:47 left, the first of three 18-point leads in the half for CAC. After Benedictine pulled within 47-35, the Vaqueros closed the half with a 6-0 run.
The Redhawks started the second half with a 7-0 run capped by Xavier Johnson's 3-pointer to trim Central's advantage to 11 points at 53-42, but would get no closer.
Roberts made two free throws on the next possession to ignite an 11-0 surge for Central that also included one of Garrick's five 3-pointers.
A second-chance basket by Irish with 5:48 to play gave the Vaqueros their largest lead at 84-55.
Benedictine's Jon Rivera led all scorers with 25 points. Dustin Troutt and Tyler Bell both had 16 for the Redhawks.
Central converted 12 Benedictine turnovers into 17 points and outscored the Redhawks 12-3 in second-chance points.
Benedictine had 11 points off 14 CAC turnovers.