Women's Basketball Wins Saddleback Tournament, Now 6-0
Like a sports car driving on its way to Las Vegas, the Pasadena City College women's basketball team has left the disappointment of last season behind in its rear view mirror. The No. 10-ranked Lancers are back to being a state power as exemplified by their triumph in winning the Saddleback College Lady Gaucho Classic II held Nov. 16-18 in Mission Viejo.
The Lancers are a perfect 6-0 after winning three games at the 6-team tourney. While a round-robin tournament, Saddleback used a points system to name a champion and PCC earned the title. PCC went 3-0 at the season-opening Lancers-hosted Veteran's Day Classic, but only individual awards were exchanged since Citrus also went 3-0 at that round-robin affair.
At Saddleback, the Lancers capped the tourney Saturday by routing the host Gauchos, 72-49, behind the play of tourney MVP and sophomore point guard Shay Jackson, who scored 16 points (8-for-11 from the free throw line) with five rebounds and three assists. PCC led just 33-32 early in the second half before the Lancers went on a 7-0 run. Saddleback shaved it to 40-36 when PCC exploded for an 18-1 run midway through the half that put the win away.. During the spurt, Jackson hit back-to-back layups to start it and had nine of her points in the stretch.
Frosh center Kaitlyn Parks made a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds plus three blocked shots. Reserve guard Desiree Loving added 12 points and seven rebounds.
In the second round, the Lancers won a defensive struggle over Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, 43-39. Sophomore shooting guard Stella Ghazarian put on an amazing display in scoring her team's last 15 points of the game over the final eight minutes to pull things out for the Lancers. Pasadena trailed, 33-26, with 10 minutes left in the game. But with 3:26 remaining, Ghazarian capped a personal run of 11 consecutive points with her third 3-point bomb that gave PCC a 39-37 lead. She later hit four free throws to ice the victory. Loving added 12 points.
In the opening round, the Lancers bombed San Diego City, 77-46. Ghazarian totaled 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Sabrina Martinez added 12 points and five steals. Parks contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. PCC head coach Joe Peron was able to see all 14 of his players reach the scoring column. Martinez was picked All-Saddleback Tournament along with Jackson.
PCC's defense has been a brightspot so far as the team allowed an average of just 44 points per game at Saddleback.
"Defense wins games, and we've worked hard at trying to keep our opponents from getting any easy baskets or too many freebie points on free throws," Peron said. "Jackson and Martinez are two big reasons why our defense is tenacious. Parks gives us the inside rebounding on the defensive end to help start us on fast breaks in transition."
PCC will host the 15th edition of the Rose City Classic on Dec. 7-9 at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. Tournament schedule will be announced soon on this website.
[Photo-All-Saddleback Tournament and Lancer Sabrina Martinez takes a shot during a recent game.]