TORRANCE, CA — The East Los Angeles College women's basketball team defeated Cerritos College 87-75 in the South Coast Conference Crossover Triple Header Showcase at El Camino College.
It was the second straight win over a ranked team for the Lady Huskies. Cerritos is No. 15 in the South Region Poll.
In other Showcase action, No. 14 Long Beach City College (13-6) won a 68-61 matchup against Pasadena City College (12-8). No. 15 El Camino College (12-6) lost 71-57 to No. 6 Mt. SAC (15-4).
The game against Cerritos was a big test for the Lady Huskies. The Falcons played four straight games against SCC North rivals entering the Showcase. Cerritos defeated Rio Hondo 69-54, lost to Pasadena 61-53 and was edged twice by Mt. SAC, 80-76 in overtime and 65-59 on Wednesday.
ELAC’s win against the Cerritos was its fourth straight in four years over the Falcons. In comparison to its SCC north rivals, ELAC was the only team to defeat Cerritos by double figures.
The game scoring opened with ELAC freshman guard Jaelynn Curley (Ganado, AZ / Ganado HS) hitting a 3-point swish 41 seconds into the game. Six lead changes and four ties ensued in the first quarter, which ended with ELAC on top 23-22. The Lady Huskies led 42-38 at the half.
Cerritos ran all night and ELAC’s defense adjusted accordingly and got better with each quarter. ELAC opened the second half with a 9-2 run and led 51-40 with 7:01 left in the third quarter.
Cerritos bounced back in the fourth quarter to a two-point deficit, down 62-60 with 9:55 left in the game. ELAC followed with a 20-6 run and led 82-66 with 2:48 ticks left in the contest. ELAC shot 83.3 percent (10-of-12) in fourth quarter and outscored Cerritos 25-17 for thexw win.
“I think we played a better defensive game,” said ELAC Assistant Coach Sarai Trinidad. “We’re valuing every possession a little bit better and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Five Lady Huskies scored in double figures with sophomore forward Monica Garcia (Garfield High School) and freshman forward Dominique Godbolt (Fairfax HS) and each earning double doubles.
Garcia scored 26 points, had 15 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots. Godbolt scored 17 points, had 12 rebounds and the games only other blocked shot. Freshman guard Jennifer Pool (Legacy HS), who turned two Cerritos turnovers and two steals into points, scored 16 points and finished with three assists and three steals.
Two Lady Huskies scored 12 points each, sophomore guard Destinee Anaya (Irving, TX / MacArthur HS) and freshman guard Jaelynn Curley (Ganado, AZ / Ganado HS). Anaya finished with five rebounds and four assists while Curley had five assists. Guards Jesenia Rendon and Serena Rendon led the Falcons with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
ELAC outscored Cerritos in the paint 44-26 and outscored the Falcons 19-13 off of turnovers.
ELAC finished the non-conference portion of their season with a 12-6 record, with all of its losses to Top 20 state-ranked teams. ELAC played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the state and finished 6-6 against ranked teams.
In five tournaments, the No. 11 state-ranked Lady Huskies made it to the title games in three tourneys, but came up on the short end to No. 1 Palomar (OT loss), No. 2 Sierra and No. 3 San Jacinto (4-point loss).
Garcia and Godbolt were named to the All-Tournament teams in each tournament. ELAC won the Consolation Championship in its own Susan and Dan Okawa Husky Classic and took Third Place in a tourney in San Francisco.
ELAC begins SCC North play with a home game against Pasadena in the first game of a double header with the men’s team on Jan. 17 with the women’s team playing at 5 p.m.
Six Lady Huskies have top stats among SCC North players. Godbolt is the top rebounder with an average of 13.4 rebounds per game. Garcia, is tied for the top scorer with Pasadena sophomore center Alisa Shinn with an average of 18.4 points per game. Pool averages 2.8 steals per game and 3.8 assists per game, which is No. 2 of SCC players in both categories.
ELAC has three of the Top-Five three-point shooters of SCC players, Anaya at No. 2 who hits 40.6 percent, Curley at No. 4 (38.7 %) and sophomore guard Kimberly Peraza (Downey HS) at No. 5 (34.8 %).
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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia