Huskies Pull Away in 4th to Defeat West in Makeup Game
|Game Statistics||West LA||East Los Angeles|
|Field Goal %||31.5%||38.2%|
|Pts off Turnovers||15||7|
|2nd Chance Pts||13||12|
|Pts in the Paint||24||38|
by Cerwin D Haynes
(photos by Stephen Morales @grecomeco23)
Facing a five-point deficit to the visiting West LA College Wildcats in the fourth quarter, East LA College women's basketball edged dangerously close to a painful, upset loss to an unranked opponent. The Wildcats, despite a losing record, had been competitive in most of their games this season and saw a chance to knock off a crosstown, cross-LACCD rival in #5-ranked ELAC (T-5 CCCWBCA South Region). ELAC - marred by sloppy offensive execution - had allowed West the opportunity to not just stay in the game but take the lead.
But there's a reason why head coach Bruce Turner's crew is among the best in the state.
The Huskies found their trekking in part to two of their starting guards, Isabel Arango (17 points, 19 rebounds, five blocks) and Delilah Kimble-Gray (13 pts, seven rebounds, four assists), turning up their play. Arango, after hitting a jumper earlier in the quarter, drove for a layup to cut the Wildcats' lead to three, 52-49. After a missed jumper by Xyamiyia Miller, Kimble-Gray attacked the paint and contorted herself inside for another layup to reduce West's lead to a single point. After a series of missed shots by both teams, it was another Huskies' guard - Aliya Contreras - who found the space and gumption to drive on her defender, score the layup and give ELAC the 53-52 lead. And Contreras wasn't satisfied: after Mirakel Davidson missed two layups, Contreras ultimately found herself again one-on-one against her defender. She drove the paint again with conviction, flipped the ball up and off the glass and through the net for a 55-52 lead.
The Huskies would slowly build their lead to salt this one away, and the dagger came with less than two minutes left: up 64-56, Contreras scooped up an off an offensive rebound from a missed layup. She passed the ball to guard Naomi Winston-Ellis behind the three-point line. The 43.6% shooter from three took aim, shot and swished - ELAC would go up 67-56 with 1:23 to play.
- Winston-Ellis lead all scorers with 21 points, adding 13 rebounds and three blocks. She hit five out of 10 from three.
- Contreras only shot 2-8, but both her makes helped fuel ELAC's decisive late-game spurt.
- East LA recorded 10 blocked shots.
- West's Lauren Lee led the Wilcats with 18 points.
ELAC will resume their yearly visit to Pasadena City to face the Lancers in the latter half of the men/women doubleheader on Friday, 1/28 at 7pm.