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Depth A Key For Women's Basketball As It Opens 2010-2011 Season

Depth A Key For Women's Basketball As It Opens 2010-2011 Season image

The Pasadena City College women's basketball team will carry 15 players on its 2010-2011 roster as the Lancers open the season this week with the annual Hilton Garden Inn Classic tournament. The eight-team tourney runs at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 5-7.

The Lancers have qualified for the state championship tournament in each of the past seven seasons, a streak that no other team has matched in that time. Winners of the state title in 2009, PCC was eliminated in the quarterfinals last season with a 25-5 overall record.

PCC Head Coach Joe Peron would like his squad to return to the late playoff rounds and has combined height, quickness and depth to make up his new roster. The team returns four players from last season, including All-South Coast Conference First Team center Dominique Scott and All-SCC Second Team guard Anna Shahinian. Starting point guard Stephanie DeFrance also returns as well as reserve center Lora Benedetti.

Shahinian and Benedetti each were recently recognized on the 2010 Academic All-State Team. 

PCC's only other sophomore is transfer Desiree Strings, a 5-foot-10 point guard who bounced back from UC Irvine. Strings was an All-CIF performer at Leuzinger High where she averaged 15 points, six rebounds and 3.7 assists as a senior. 

Pasadena's freshman crop runs 10 players deep with 5-9 forward Marquetta Stokes the team's top blue-chip recruit. Stokes led Oakland Tech High to the Oakland Athletic League championship, scoring 16 points in the title game. 

Another impact newcomer is guard Vera Machado, who helped Alhambra High capture the Almont League title and snap an 87-game league win streak by Mark Keppel High. Machado made the Pasadena Star-News All-Area First Team.

Frosh center Tonisha Lacey is a San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro Team, East Bay honorable mention from Tennyson High in Hayward. Post player Destinee Sellers (Chatsworth High) is a rebounder and scorer who played in the Battle of the Valley Seniors All-Star game. Adding to the team's strength inside is Briale McCoy, a 6-1 center and All-Oakland City selection from Castlemont High. 

All-Del Rey League Second Team choice and forward Danielle Muepo joins the squad from Serra High. Guard Kim Wong, from Arcadia High, played in the same Rio-Pac All-Star game that teammates Shahinian and Benedetti participated in back in 2009.

Kaelee Cook, a 5-5 guard from Muskegon Heights High, Michigan, is an All-Area selection who averaged 15 points and five assists a game. Melanie Samvalian, a 5-10 forward from Crescenta Valley High, and Pasadena High grad and guard Erika Steward, round out the Lancers' roster. 

Peron knows his team is young, but feels his sophomore nucleus may have influence over the overall performance. 

"We have our key post player back in Scott, our best outside shooter in Shahinian, and a talented, veteran point guard in DeFrance," Peron said. "It's a great foundation to build on with our large freshmen group. We have so much depth, especially players who can rebound and shoot. It's going to be healthy competition for playing time for some of the newcomers. Stokes and Machado will be the ones who step in to help us right away."

The Lancers host Taft College Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the season opener. PCC was rated tied for No. 3 on the CCCWBCA pre-season state poll.

[Photo--Dominique Scott returns to the Lancers after averaging a double-double last season at 14.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.]

Release Date: 11/03/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu