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Women's Basketball Takes 3rd Place At Saddleback Tourney

Women's Basketball Takes 3rd Place At Saddleback Tourney image

The Pasadena City College women's basketball team lost once to a fellow South Coast Conference opponent at the Saddleback College Lady Gaucho Classic. The Lancers made sure it wouldn't happen twice at the Mission Viejo tournament. PCC's bench scored 25 of the team's 36 points in the first half as the Lancers overcame an early deficit to defeat LA Trade Tech, 69-54, to win the third place final Wednesday afternoon. 

On Tuesday in the tourney championship semifinals, PCC had an extraordinary 20-game win streak in its series against East Los Angeles College come to a stunning end in a 71-58 loss to the Huskies. PCC last lost to ELAC in 2001 and had won 24 of its previous 26 encounters with the conference rival under head coach Joe Peron (since 1996-97).

The malaise of the loss to East LA continued at the start of the Trade Tech game as PCC fell behind 9-2. Peron went to his bench and the reserves helped spark the team. Backup guard Sabrina Martinez made a steal and layup that capped a 16-2 Pasadena run as the Lancers took a 36-22 halftime lead. The Lancers built the lead to as much as 25 points in the second half.

Guard Stella Ghazarian came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points, including seven points during the first-half run. She hit three 3-pointers. Martinez added 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Other bench contributors were sophomore guard Erica Steward (six points, four rebounds), Kahlia Theus (five points and five boards), and Ashlee Cornelious (four points).

Second-year forward Destinee Sellers was one of the few starters who played well as she scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Sellers (pictured) was chosen to the Lady Gaucho Classic All-Tournament Team.

Ghazarian also led PCC in scoring, playing 27 minutes off the bench, in the ELAC loss. The frosh sharp shooter from Glendale High (same place as former Lancers' long-range specialists Melia Basavand and Anna Shahinian) dropped in five 3-pointers as part of her 17 points. Sophomore forward Marquetta Stokes added 10 points while letterman center Tonisha Lacey (seven rebounds) and transfer sophomore point guard Tiffany Thompson (six assists, three steals) each scored nine points. Sellers added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Ironically, ELAC was led by Keyanna Johnson, who scored 17 points and made eight of the Huskies' 18 steals. Johnson is the twin sister of current PCC assistant coach and 2009 state tournament MVP Kinyada Johnson-Jones. Keyanna Johnson took time off from basketball after the twins played together at Hesperia High. Keyanna was named to the all-tournament team and helped ELAC (5-1 record) take second place.

In the first round Nov.21, PCC held off Southwestern, 70-67, as Stokes buried 10 free throws (13 attempts) in totaling 18 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Sellers also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Lacey added 10 points and eight boards. Sophomore guard Vera Machado contributed eight points, nine rebounds, and blocked four shots.

Pasadena trailed 17-6 and did not take the lead for good until eight minutes left when Sellers' put-back basket gave PCC a 56-54 advantage. Thompson made two free throws with nine seconds left to give the Lancers their final breathing room.

The Lancers open South Coast Conference play Wednesday, Dec. 7 when they host Long Beach City College in a 6 p.m. tip-off at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

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Release Date: 11/23/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu