SANTA CLARA, CA— The No. 3 SoCal-ranked East Los Angeles College Huskies defeated No. 4-Northern California ranked Diablo Valley College 82-67 in the championship game of the Eighth Annual Mission College Tournament on Sunday.
“We executed our offense very well and our man-to-man defense was very good of the opening week of the season,” said ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner. “I was excited to see how well the ladies played together.”
The game was a rematch from last year’s Mission College Tournament title game, a Diablo Valley 77-67 win.
It was the second time in three years that the Huskies won the Mission Tourney title. The Huskies defeated Diablo Valley 71-67 two years ago when they finished the season 29-4.
In the past two years, ELAC has been a Final Four team and is the 2015-16 CCCAA state runner-up while Diablo Valley has been an Elite Eight quarterfinalist in the playoffs.
ELAC opened with a 32-16 lead by the end of the first quarter with a fast pace offense. Diablo Valley slowed the pace in the second quarter and ELAC responded with an aggressive press. The Huskies led 49-34 at the half.
Diablo Valley rallied in the third period and outscored ELAC 27-22. ELAC led 71-61 at the end of the period then outscored the Vikings 11-6 in the final period for the win.
ELAC sophomore guard Allissa Gomez (LA Roosevelt High School) scored a game high 21 points to lead the Huskies. She was the recipient of the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.
In being named to the Mission All-Tournament Team, Gomez began the 2016-17 campaign where she left off in March of the last season.
In the 2015-16 state finals game in March, Gomez won a spot on the State Championships All-Tourney Team after stellar play that included scoring a team-high 13 points and five assists in the state title game.
ELAC sophomore guard Katrina Reeves scored 19 points for the Huskies against Diablo Valley; freshman guard Farrah Castillo (Rowland HS) added 14 points. Castillo and ELAC sophomore center Gloria Ortiz (LA Roosevelt HS) were named to the Mission College All-Tourney Team. Two Viking guards each scored 12 points in the game, Doris Jones and Safiyyah Yasin.
ELAC defeated host Mission College, 69-49, in the semifinals. Castillo led the Huskies in scoring with 20 points while freshman guard Monica Garcia came off the bench and scored 11 points. Gomez added 12.
ELAC won 70-23 against Ohlone College in the first round of tournament play. Coach Turner emptied his bench in this first game of the season for the Huskies.
Two Huskies came off the bench to lead ELAC in scoring, freshman guard Sarah Gurrola who scored a game high 21 points and Garcia who scored 14 points and was 6-of-7 from the line.
Gomez added 11 points, Reeves score 11 and sophomore guard Ikeba Allen scored six points and was 3-of-4 from the free throw charity stripe.
ELAC moves on to the Saddleback College Tournament November 17-19 and faces the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes, one of the top ranked teams in Arizona year in and year out.
“Scottsdale is loaded and a very good team,” said Turner. “We look forward to playing them.”
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia