MONTEREY PARK, CA — The No. 2-seed East Los Angeles College, 27-2 overall, won 88-74 against No. 15-seed Sana Ana College in a CCCAA Southern California Regional Bracket game.
With the win, the Lady Huskies will officially end their season with the best women’s basketball record in school history.
ELAC advances to the Sweet 16, Round 3 of the playoffs. ELAC will host Pasadena City College on Saturday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in the South Gym. It will be the third meeting this season for the SCC North rivals. The winner advances to the Women’s Basketball State Championships March 10-12 at Las Positas College.
In tonight’s game, the Huskies adjusted quickly to Santa Ana’s style of play and also missing freshman guard Monica Garcia (Garfield High School), who was not suited to play. Garcia leads the Huskies in shooting percentage with a 54.4 percent average per game, eighth best in the state.
Santa Ana came running out the gates and ELAC responded with run-and-gun play ending with a 23-10 first period lead.
First period scoring included the first seven points from ELAC sophomore center Anastasia Tsybaeva (Burbank High School). Tsybaeva’s jump shot at the 6:00 mark gave ELAC a 7-0 lead. Sophomore guard Katrina Reeves (Orlando, FL / Dr. Phillips HS) scored four consecutive baskets, the latter a layup for a 20-8 Husky lead.
The Lady Huskies flirted with double-digit leads in the second half. It was their changed defense, out of the locker room, which kept them in the lead throughout. Santa Ana pulled within eight points in the second period, which ended with ELAC on top 40-29.
Santa Ana pulled within seven points twice in the fourth period, the latter at 71-64 with 4:08 remaining in the contest that bring their fans back into the game. The Husky defense, added with 100 percent at the line (8-of-8) in the last minute, gave ELAC its 14-point win.
“It was our second-half defense and out free throws down the stretch that helped us to win,” said ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner. “They (Santa Ana) play in a tough conference and (Santa Ana Coach Flo Luppani) brings good teams into the playoffs.”
Santa Ana sophomore forward Blaysen Varnadoe scored a game-high 33 points and added 11 rebounds for a double double. ELAC sophomore center Gloria Ortiz (Roosevelt HS) also had a double double with 12 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
Other Huskies that scored in double digits included sophomore guard Allissa Gomez (Roosevelt HS) with a team-high 21 points, sophomore guard Tiffani Martinez (Montebello HS) with 17, Reeves with 16 and Tsybaeva with 13.
Freshman guard Farrah Castillo (Rowland HS) had a game-high nine assists.
Pasadena (20-9) shocked No. 7th-seed Saddleback College (21-9) 72-65 last night. ELAC and Pasadena meet in the playoffs for the second-straight year. ELAC won last year’s playoff game, 58-45.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia