Glendale Junior College (21-10) hung around all season in the ACCAC Conference Standings, behind the veteran leadership of Head Coach Ken Carrillo, and won their last (6) games on the season to eventually win the ACCAC Division-II Championship on Friday evening on their home floor - a big 105-96 victory over a talented Pima JC (19-13) team.
Glendale Head Coach Ken Carrillo took over the program just before the start to the 2019-2020 junior college season, and he was terrific in leading a talented group of performers throughout the season to numerous big wins, but none better than the big win on Friday evening over his longtime friend Brian Peabody's Pima Aztecs. The two highly successful veteran head coaches have been friends for more than 30+ years, and have competed in everything, but Carrillo advised me before the game that he has always come out on top.
"He (Brian Peabody) has never beat me," Ken Carrillo joked a day before the game Friday night.
Carrillo would be right again as his team would lead Pima by as much as 22 points (62-40) early in the second half, but Pima worked hard to climb back late in the game and make it a serious contest down the stretch. Down 87-80, Pima went on a 6-0 run to cut it to a one-point deficit at 87-86 with 4:06 left to play.
The Aztecs could not overtake the lead as Glendale scored the next four points. It turned into a 12-3 run for the Gauchos, as they went up 99-89 with a little over a minute left. Glendale's explosive 5-foot-7 sophomore guard Josh Johnson hit 3 of his final 4 foul shots to help seal it. Johnson finished with a game high 37 points in the win.
Pima JC sophomore guard Jordan Robinson finished with a team-high 25 points to go along with 6 rebounds, five assists and six steals. Pima sophomore Cole Gerken scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half, while 6-foot-5 sophomore Rashad Smith (Grand Canyon University signee) fell short of a triple-double, as he posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists.
Glendale JC will now advance to the NJCAA Division-II National Tournament @ Mary Miller Center in Danville, IL from Mar. 17-21.