Mar 12, 2017
By John M. Sherrard
(Livermore, CA) With a furious first-quarter start, the defending CCCAA State Champion Mt. SAC Women's Basketball team took control early and often and defeated Ventura College, 67-52, in the semifinals Saturday night at Las Positas College.
Led by a 10-0 start, the No. 1 Seed Mounties never were caught and built up big leads over the Pirates and will make their sixth consecutive appearance in the state title game.
Mt. SAC (32-2) will face No. 3 North Seed College of the Siskiyous (31-1) in the championship game on Sunday. Game time is 3:30 pm and can be seen live on the CCCAA web site.
This will mark the 11th time in the last 16 years that the Mounties have advanced to the state title game.
"We were focused and did a good job from start to finish," Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow said.
"As for Allyah (George), she got us going (first quarter) and Kali (Jones), with her rebounds provided our inside presence."
A big difference in the game were the points in the paint, as the taller Mounties scored 28 to Ventura's six.
Leading the way for the seven-time state champion Mounties was first-team, all-state sophomore guard Caira Benton (6 RB, 3 steals, 6-6 FT) with a team-high 16 points. Third-team, all-state freshman forward Kali Jones (5 blocks, 6-13 FG, 2-2 FT) followed with 14 points and sophomore forward Allyah George (7 RB, 2 blks., steal, 3-4 FT) had 11.
Mt. SAC out-rebounded Ventura (28-6), 43-38, and were led by Jones with 10 boards.
The Mounties, who started in the first quarter with a 13-3 run never let up, taking a 19-9 first-quarter lead and 16-point halftime lead, 38-22.
George, who was a force early under the basket, scored all 11 of her points in the opening half.
Benton and George both scored eight points in the half.
"The adrenaline before the game really got us going," said Benton, who was a member of last years' championship team. "It was really exciting and a huge momentum-starter.
"We've been here before and it feels good to chase history."
The second half was more of the same as the Mounties built up a 16-point lead early in the third quarter. All-state, second-team selection Dominique McLaughlin (4 RB, 2 steals) scored seven of her nine points in the second half.
The largest lead of the game for the Mounties came with 3:55 left in the game when they were in full control of the outcome.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630