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Hard Playoff Bracket For Women's Basketball, Hosts Defending State Champ Ventura Saturday

Hard Playoff Bracket For Women's Basketball, Hosts Defending State Champ Ventura Saturday image

The 23-5 Pasadena City College women's basketball team secured the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Southern California Regional Playoffs. But of the four starting brackets for the 18-team playoffs, the Lancers have drawn a most formidable set of opponents.

As the Lancers attempt to make their eighth straight trip to the CCCAA State Championship Tournament, the task begins Saturday, Feb. 26 when they host No. 11 seed Ventura College, the defending state champions, in Round 2. Tip-off at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium is 7 p.m.

[Note--Round 1 is a play-in round consisting of two games involving the Nos. 15-18 seeds.]

If PCC defeats Ventura, the Lancers look to be on a collision course to face No. 3 seed and South Coast Conference champion Mt. San Antonio in Round 3 on Wednesday, Mar. 2. Two of the Lancers' losses were against the Mounties and Pasadena will not have the luxury of playing at home. PCC has frequently been a No. 3 or higher seed and often has taken home advantage in hosting at least two games to insure a spot in the state tournament. Mt. SAC faces No. 14 seed Moorpark Friday.

With the Elite Eight now a Final Four, if the Lancers reach Round 4, they will have essentially advanced to the state quarterfinals as only eight teams combined will be left in the South and North regions. Their SoCal final could be a matchup against No. 2 San Bernardino Valley, a 26-2 squad with a rabid home fan following. Round 4 is set for Saturday, Mar. 5.

Barring upsets in any of the rounds, PCC will likely only get to play once at the Hutto-Patterson floor, a horror chamber for Lancers' playoff opponents. Pasadena has never lost at the H-P facility in the postseason, holding a 16-0 record there since PCC first occupied the arena in 1999-2000.

Ventura is 23-6 and has more wins than five teams seeded ahead of it, making the Pirates easily the most difficult first-round opponent for PCC in a long while. The Pirates are a perennial champion of the Western State Conference North Division. Ironically, this year's CCCAA Final Four will be hosted at Ventura College Mar. 11-13.

The Lancers have built a mini rivalry with Ventura, a team that the Lancers upset in a memorable state semifinal on their way to the 2008-2009 state title. Earlier this season, PCC dominated the visiting Pirates, 72-53, at the December Rose City Classic. Two seasons ago, Pasadena won a hard-fought 81-72 battle over Ventura to capture the 2009 Rose City Classic crown. In the 2007 postseason, PCC defeated the Pirates, 77-62, in a SoCal bracket final. While PCC has controlled the recent series of games, the program suffered its worst playoff loss ever, 103-53, against Ventura in 2002.

PCC Head Coach Joe Peron has directed the Lancers during their successful run, guiding his teams to a 29-11 overall record in all postseason games. Three times, his squads advanced as far as the state title game in 2004, 2005, and 2009.

The 2011 SoCal Playoff bracket is at the link below:

http://www.pasadena.edu/athletics/basketball/women/documents/wbbbracket.pdf

[Photo--Desiree Strings (black jersey 13) is sandwiched between two Mt. SAC players in a SCC game earlier this month. Mt. San Antonio is a possible Round 3 opponent for the Lancers in the SoCal Playoffs.]

Release Date: 02/22/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu