After falling short in its quest to win the Western State Conference South Division championship, the Glendale Community College men's basketball team will now center its focus on the postseason.
The Vaqueros finished the regular season at 21-5 and 9-3 in the division, leading to them earning a home matchup against L.A. Harbor at 7 p.m. Friday in the second-round of the Southern California Regionals.
"It will be a tight game between two teams who are evenly matched," said veteran Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin, who ranks fourth in state history with 591 victories. "Fortunately, we are playing at home and we'll look to use that to our advantage.
"We've earned it to make the playoffs. We've been able to stay with it and not get rattled much."
Glendale will be the seventh seed and face an L.A. Harbor team that will be seeded 10th after going 21-6 and 10-3 in the South Coast Conference Southern Division. The Seahawks split the division championship with Long Beach. Glendale and L.A. Harbor did not meet in the regular season.
The winner will take on either second-seeded San Bernardino Valley (25-7), 15th-seeded Grossmont (18-8) or 18th-seeded Irvine Valley (24-4) in a quarterfinal contest March 5. Grossmont and Irvine Valley will partake in an opening-round game Wednesday.
It will mark the first time the Vaqueros have participated in the postseason since 2011, when they suffered a 77-71 first-round defeat against visiting Long Beach. Since Beauchemin took over Glendale in 1979, the Vaqueros have made 22 playoff appearances.
Though the current cast of players doesn't have any playoff experience, Beauchemin said he's not concerned.
"In junior college athletics, each team is going to be different," said Beauchemin, whose team wrapped up the regular season Saturday with a 72-60 road division victory against L.A. Valley. "We went 5-1 in the second round of division, so we feel like we are doing some things well and playing to our potential.
"You want all of your key ingredients going right heading into the playoffs in trying to advance."
The Vaqueros have been led by sophomore forward Gor Plavchyan, who is averaging a team-high 16.4 points and 2.2 blocks a game. He will be supported by sophomore forwards Emmett Duvall (14.8 points per game) and Emerson Castaneda (11.9 points per game) and freshman guard Jalen Etienne (11.4 points and 5.1 assists per game).
L.A. Harbor has won seven games in a row, including a 76-58 division home victory against Cerritos on Saturday. The Seahawks have turned to sophomore guards Jamar Cannon and Anthony Foster, who are averaging 13.7 and 11.3 points per game, respectively.
Antelope Valley, which won the Western State Conference South Division crown, is 26-4 and the No. 1 seed. The third and fourth seeds are Mount San Jacinto (23-4) and Chaffey (25-5), respectively.
The regional championship contest will take place March 8.