MISSION VIEJO, CA — In a battle of Southern California ranked teams; No. 3 East Los Angeles College Huskies defeated No. 10 Irvine Valley College 79-69 in the semifinals of the Lady Gaucho Classic women’s basketball tournament at Saddleback College.
The Huskies, 5-0 overall, move on to the Classic Championship game against host Saddleback College (4-1). Saddleback beat No. 5-NoCal ranked San Joaquin Delta College (3-2) 72-69 in overtime in the other championship semifinal game.
Irvine had more turnovers than the Huskies, 19-10. ELAC took advantage of that by scoring 17 points off turnovers. ELAC outscored Irvine from the bench 22 to 7 and shot 75 percent from beyond the arc, connecting on 18-of-24 3-point shots.
Irvine led at the half 42-39 and had its largest lead, 14-6, with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter and 39-31 with 7:40 left in the third quarter.
The Huskies stormed back with a 26-11 run, and led 57-50 after three quarters. ELAC freshman guard Farrah Castillo (Rowland High School) scored 11 of the 26 rally points.
ELAC outscored Irvine 7-2 to open the fourth quarter that resulted in its largest lead of the game, 64-52, with 7:02 left in the game. Sophomore guard Katrina Reeves (Orlando, FL / Dr. Phillips HS) scored all seven of the Husky points.
Four Huskies scored in double figures. Castillo scored a game-high 16 points, and had a team-high seven assists/three steals. Freshman guard Monica Garcia Silva (Garfield HS) scored 15 points and had nine rebounds.
Reeves scored 13 points and had six rebounds while sophomore guard Allissa Gomez (Roosevelt HS) scored 12 points had six rebounds and four assists. ELAC sophomore center Anastasia Tsybaeva (Burbank HS) had the games only blocked shot.
The championship game is tomorrow at 2 p.m. Delta meets Irvine in the Third Place game tomorrow and Moorpark College (2-3) plays Santa Barbara in the Consolation Championship.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia