Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Women's Basketball Wins Regional, Heading to State Tournament!

Photo Credit: Dave Aguilera
Photo Credit: Dave Aguilera
(Walnut) – John M. Sherrard – For the 13th time in the past 15 years the Mt. San Antonio College women's basketball team has advanced to the CCCAA state final four with a 56-51 victory over visiting Irvine Valley College in the So Cal Regional finals.

Mt. SAC led, 50-49, with 1:47 remaining in the game but went on a 6-2 run to end the game that sent them to the state championships in search of its seventh title.

After each team traded baskets, Mt. SAC freshman guard Caira Benton (Arcadia HS) was fouled at midcourt and sank both free throws to give the Mounties a 54-51 lead with :14 left in the game. After another Lazers foul, two more free throws gave Mt. SAC the 5-point victory and the celebration began.

The top-seeded Mounties (32-1) will play the No. 2 seed team from the north, Fresno City College (29-3) on Friday in a CCCAA state playoff semifinal game at Las Positas College in Livermore. Game time is 7pm.

The other semifinal game features South Coast Conference foe, No 2 south seed East Los Angeles (23-9) versus north No. 1 seed College of San Francisco (28-3). The state final is Sunday at 1pm.

The So Cal Regional final was the 16th in the last 17 years for the Mountie women.
Leading the way for Mt. SAC with a game-high 16 points (5 steals) was guard Tahniya Sweatt (John Muir HS). The sophomore was 6 for 13 from the field and 4 for 8 at the charity stripe.
"Everybody brings their A-game when they play us," Sweatt said, as her teammates were cutting down the net.
"Honestly, It's just a blessing to advance to state."

Also scoring for the Mounties in double figures was freshman forward Jonnae Vermillion(Corona Santiago HS) with 12 points (5 rebounds) and Benton with 11 points (8 rebounds). Sophomore guard Gina Henderson (Monrovia HS) added nine points.

Tara Casey led Irvine Valley with a team-high 12 points.

The Mounties, for the first time in the playoffs, fell behind 9-0 to Irvine Valley with just over three minutes gone in the opening quarter.

Mt. SAC, however, righted the ship and only trailed, 15-13, at the end of the quarter, but the Lazers again built up a 7-point lead at the half, 35-28. Vermillion had all 12 of her points in the opening half.

The second half, however, was a different story as the Mountie defense stepped up, allowing IVC only eight points in each quarter.
Mt. SAC outscored the Lazers, 28-16, in the second half on 39% shooting.

"I knew Irvine Valley was going to come to play and give it everything they had," Mt. SAC 6th-year coach Brian Crichlow said. "It was just a matter of how we were going to play. In the second quarter we played with a purpose.
"It feels good, especially for these kids. They hear about the traditions, especially the freshman who hear about them last year playing in the title game and not winning it and now they get to feel it and try for the championship."
Mt. SAC, undefeated at the time at 31-0, lost in the championship game last season.

For more information contact Mt. SAC Sports Information at 909-274-4630. Follow the team on Twitter @mtsac_athletics.