Ed Petruska-Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — Chalk up another impressive victory for the surging Central Arizona College men's basketball team.
Once again, the defense was outstanding as the Vaqueros throttled Glendale 88-64 on Wednesday night at the George Young Activity Center. It was the fourth consecutive Arizona Community College Athletic Conference win for Central following an 0-4 start against ACCAC opponents.
Four days after holding Chandler-Gilbert to 39 points, the Vaqueros (9-7 overall) buckled down to keep the Gauchos 27 points under their conference-best 91.3 average. Central led 53-27 at halftime and never let Glendale (9-6, 4-4 ACCAC) get closer than 19 points in the second half.
"Our first-half defense was incredible," CAC coach Tramaine Aaron said. "The guys are starting to understand how defense works. They're trusting each other, and all five are moving as one."
The main priority against Glendale, Aaron said, was to keep Joshuwan Johnson in check. Johnson came in averaging 18.8 points (No. 5 in the ACCAC), but scored just 11 against the Vaqueros.
"We hit a lot of shots in the first half," Aaron said. "That rim got big. In the second half, it was more about pace. We told the guys they couldn't fall asleep."
"I'm pleasantly surprised we scored as much as we did," Aaron said. "I told the guys that if the game got into the 90s, we'd lose. We wanted to keep it in the 60s, control the tempo."
The Vaqueros came in averaging 68.1 points while allowing 67.0 against ACCAC opponents. The 24-point margin of victory matched CAC's best against a conference foe.
Myles Malachesen scored 12 points to lead the Gauchos, who had a 3-0 road record coming in. Glendale's previous three conference losses were by nine, one and three points.
In addition to containing Johnson, the Vaqueros also kept the wraps on the Gauchos' three other top scorers. Terrell Handy (16.8 average) had nine points, Cassius Carmichael (14.8) had six and Caleb Edwards (12.1) had zero.
Central went ahead by 28 three times early in the second half, the last time at 62-34 on Bertrand's basket with 14:42 remaining.
After Glendale trimmed the deficit to 68-49 with 10:23 left, the Vaqueros answered with Canahuate's second-chance basket and Ryan Pate's 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to extend the lead to 73-49 with 7:32 remaining