Lady Huskies basketball awaits playoff seed
LOS ANGELES, CA — East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team ended its regular season with a shocking 71-70 loss to rival L.A. Trade Tech College in the final South Coast Conference North Division game.
The Huskies finished the regular season, 20-9 and 4-4 in the SCC North. ELAC tied for second place in the SCC North with Pasadena City College (16-12, 4-4) and Trade Tech (13-13, 4-4).
The Huskies await the Southern California Regional pairings. Fifteenth through 18th seeds play Round 1 games next Wednesday. Round 2 games are Friday and Saturday Feb. 26 & 27, hosted by the No. 1 through No. 8 seeds.
Based on its strength of schedule ELAC will receive a playoff bid, most likely on the road, but a home game is within reach.
The emotional one-point loss to rival Trade Tech had a wild ending. In the final 21.9 seconds, there were three technical fouls, a flagrant foul and a brawl in the stands.
It all began with Trade Tech leading 67-65 when ELAC freshman forward Tiffani Martinez passed the ball on offense and it flew out of bounds off an apparent tip by a Trade Tech defender with 21.9 seconds left.
Chaos ensued followed with a double technical called on each coach. After lengthy discussion among the referees and the dust settled, ELAC inbounded the ball amidst the almost deafening noise from the crowd.
Three seconds later sophomore forward Jessica Sanchez (Roosevelt HS) went to the line and hit the first of two free throws. The Lady Techsters led 67-66.
With 15.5 seconds left, a flagrant foul was called on Martinez and freshman guard Kendra Williams connected on the second of two free throw attempts for a 68-66 Trade Tech lead.
With 14 seconds remaining, Trade Tech freshman guard Mary Mikaelian hit one of two free throws increasing the Lady Techsters lead to 69-66.
A foul put Martinez on the line and a brawl in the stands ensued. The fans involved in the scuffle were escorted from the game. Martinez connected on both free throws and ELAC was down by a point, 69-68.
With 3.1 seconds left, Trade Tech freshman guard Brinay Hannon was fouled, but sophomore guard Dynasti Shelby went to the line instead and hit two free throws. Sanchez scored on a layup under the basket with an assist from Martinez as time expired.
Sanchez had a double double with a game-high 22 points scored and a game-high 16 rebounds. She scored 13 points for the Huskies in the fourth quarter.
Trade Tech sophomore forward Earnika Clemmons also had a double double with 12 points scored and 13 rebounds.
ELAC defeated El Camino-Compton Center on Wednesday. Mt. SAC used its big guns in recently defeating Compton 111-24, but ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner did something rare when playing a young team that has just seven players.
In the spirit of collegiality, he gave non-starters most of the playing time.
“You have to have respect for your opponent, so we played everybody,” said Turner. “The players on the floor still want to do well. They play hard against any opponent (regardless) of when or how often they play.”
Sophomores who normally sit on the bench started for the Huskies on Sophomore Night. Forward Jasmine Gates (Gahr HS) scored six points, had seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one blocked shot.
Sophomore forward Saray Rivera (Roosevelt HS) scored four points and had three rebounds, two off the offensive boards. “Coach (Turner) gave us sophomores a good experience in our final home game as Huskies,” said Rivera.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia