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Mt. SAC Women's Basketball Defeats Orange Coast College, 78-49, in 2nd Round of CCCAA Playoffs

Women's Basketball 2nd round playoff matchup vs. Orange Coast College.
Women's Basketball 2nd round playoff matchup vs. Orange Coast College.
(Walnut) By John M. Sherrard- The Mt. SAC Women's Basketball Team is off and running in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Playoffs.

The top-ranked Mounties, behind a game-high 21 points from sophomore guard Gina Henderson (Monrovia HS), easily defeated visiting Orange Coast College, 78-49, Saturday night to advance to the third round.

Sophomore forward Alize' Lofton (Lynwood HS) had 14 points, including a game-high 16 rebounds.  "Last year we came up a little short, but this year we want to take it all the way," Lofton said. "The first quarter I started off a little shaky, but in the second half I found my rhythm."

Mt. SAC (30-1) which has won six state titles, will host No. 8 seed Palomar (24-4) this Wednesday in a third round game. Palomar, a 77-54 winner over College of the Canyons in the second round, will tip off against Mt. SAC at 7 pm.

After losing in the CCCAA title game last season, the Mountie women have one goal – to get back to the title game and bring home a seventh championship.

"We have to get over the hump," Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow said. "We've learned how to get to the finals. A few years back we were able to win a couple (state titles), but now we have to be able to get over that hump and get through."

Also scoring for Mt. SAC was sophomore guard Tahniya Sweatt (John Muir HS) with 12 points, which included a trio of 3-pointers and three rebounds. Freshman forward Jonnae Vermillion (Corona Santiago HS) added 10 points and eight rebounds (4 offensive, 4 defensive). She was also 6 of 9 at the free throw line. Allyah George(Eisenhower HS) and Caira Benton (Arcadia HS) had six points each.

Leading the way for the Pirates was freshman forward Jenna Rodriguez with a team-high 13 points and freshman forward Sarah Nunes had 11 rebounds.

The Mounties, who were the top-ranked team in the last CCCAA state poll, jumped out to a 9-3 lead and never looked back in route to a 21-11 first quarter lead.

The barrage of 3-pointers continued in the second quarter as the Mounties shot 8 for 15 for a 53 percent shooting average. Leading the way in the opening half with long-range baskets was Henderson with four and Sweatt with three. Mt. SAC more than doubled its lead with a 40-21 advantage at the break.

By the 6:30 mark of the final period, the Mounties built up a 30-point lead, 69-39, and cruised to victory.
The Mounties finished with 10-21 shooting from beyond the arc (47.6 %).

Other second round scores from the Southern California Regionals on Saturday were: #2 seed Mt. San Jacinto 78, Citrus 66, #4 Seed Long Beach 62, Riverside City College 51, and #14 seed Pasadena City College upset #3 seed Ventura College 72-65.