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Top 10 PCC Games Of The Decade 2000-2009: Games 2 and 1

Top 10 PCC Games Of The Decade 2000-2009: Games 2 and 1 image

The fourth and final installment of the Top 10 PCC Games of the Decade 2000-2009 ends with No. 2 and No. 1 as follows:

2. March 14, 2009—Women’s Basketball: How Champions Are Made—PCC 106, Ventura 93, CCCAA Semifinals at Selland Arena, Fresno

Seeded No. 4 in the South coming into the program’s sixth consecutive trip to the Final 8 Tournament, the Lancers faced Ventura College, a team that was 34-0 and looking to complete a perfect season.

The Lancers and Pirates threw out the playbook for women’s playoff games as the state semifinals turned into a track meet. With both teams trading 3-pointers and fast break baskets, Ventura took a 47-46 halftime lead.

Conditioning seem to be a factor in the second half as PCC continued the up-tempo play and bolted to a 17-4 run capped on a Kinyada Johnson 3-pointer to take a commanding 72-57 lead. Late in the game, Ventura tried to play stop the clock, but it made the strategic error of fouling the same player on in-bounds plays. That player was Lancer freshman guard Kim Smith, who would set a state tournament playoff record by making 23 of 29 free throws and finishing with a school-playoff record 35 points.

After 2-1/2 hours, the Lancers finally posted the semifinals victory with a school playoff record 106 points to end the Pirates’ undefeated run. PCC’s Melia Basavand was a phenomenal 8-for-11 on 3-point basket attempts in scoring 25 points while Ventura’s Erika Ward hit seven treys for her team-high 31 points. Johnson made history by becoming PCC’s all-time leading scorer with 1,073 points as she finished with 18 points and a PCC playoff record 12 assists. Easter Faafiti, the team’s power forward who is also hearing impaired, celebrated her 20th  birthday by scoring 21 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.

The women’s basketball team would make more history the next day as it beat San Joaquin Delta to capture PCC’s first-ever state team championship in women’s athletics. Johnson was named tournament MVP with Basavand and Faafiti named All-State Tournament. Another birthday girl, Smith also joined the fun by being a part of team celebration in turning age 19. PCC’s overtime win over City College of San Francisco in the quarterfinals had the most dramatic finish and the Delta win had the biggest impact, but it will be the high-scoring semifinal win over Ventura that people will surely remember from this championship season.

1. October 16, 2009—Women’s Volleyball: The Upset—PCC d. El Camino College, 16-25, 25-17, 25-14, 29-27, at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium

The game of the decade looked secured by the women’s basketball team, but that was before this epic match played only a few months before the end of the 10-year period. The hype for this women’s volleyball contest was huge as the state’s two-time defending state champion Warriors of El Camino College entered as the state’s top-ranked team at 16-0.

The Lancers lost in an opening day tournament, then reeled off 12 straight victories they climbed to No. 6 on the CCCWVCA Top 25 Poll. Both teams were 7-0 in South Coast Conference play as first place was on the line on an October night in Pasadena.

With a boisterous partisan crowd that included players from several PCC sports teams, the football team the most vocal, El Camino seemed not bothered by the noise in taking game 1. In other years, the Lancers would have wilted under the pressure, but not this year as PCC stormed to wins in games 2 and 3. In game 3, PCC trailed 10-4, but went on a monster 21-4 run to capture the set.

In game 4, the play became intense on every point as El Camino seemed poised to extend the match to a fifth game. The Warriors led 24-21 and had game-point, but PCC shined when it counted as Jessica Xu and Miranda Doing each made solo blocks and Nicole Holmes slammed a kill to tie it 24-24. Again ECC would force a game point at 27-26 (have to win by two), but Holmes tied it on a kill and Patti Blasco pounded another hitting kill to give PCC a 28-27 advantage. Finally, Holmes served the next ball and it fell in for an ace as the Lancers completed the upset victory.

The celebration that followed saw the players jump for joy and the fans storm the floor in a true example of school spirit. The Lancers and Coach Tammy Silva would go on to capture the program’s first SCC championship, beating El Camino again in a 3-game sweep on the road to clinch the title.

Blasco and Xu being named All-State. Holmes, who did her best impression of Joe Namath by guaranteeing the victory in a quote in the school newspaper, was an All-SCC First Team selection.

The match had drama, importance, impact, and one of the most exciting finishes to any contest, and for those reasons gets the nod as PCC Game of the Decade.

[Photo--Sports Information Photographer Richard Quinton gets a signature shot of celebration as Pasadena City College women's volleyball players get excited after winning a 4-game epic in the Top PCC Game of the Decade]

Release Date: 12/31/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu