Mt. SAC women’s basketball coach Laura Beeman admits her team’s 72-61 victory over Ventura on Nov. 25 had special meaning. It wasn’t because it came in the championship game of the Ventura Tournament of Champions. It marked the 300th career victory for Beeman, in her 13th year directing the team.
School adminstrators surprised the veteran coach with a bouquet of flowers and a cake at the team’s next practice. The original plan was to honor her at the next home game but that was three weeks off.
Beeman shrugged off the individual accomplishment and passed along praise to her coaching staff. Top assistant Brian Crichlow has been with her for nine years.
“It really is a group accomplishment,” she said. “As the head coach you’re on the chopping block if you’re not winning and you get all the praise if you do things right. But I see us developing players and building a strong program as a coaching staff.”
The Mounties, ranked first in the state, should make a strong bid for their third consecutive state title and fourth in five years. They are off to a 12-1 start, the lone loss coming to Orange Coast 63-57 in the season opener, the school’s first loss at home in more than two years.
Beeman chalks up that loss primarily to the fact that it was the Mounties first game with 11 newcomers on her 15-player roster. She doesn’t worry much about a loss.
“We’re about graduating our players and getting them to the next level,” she said. “And we want to have a winning program. You graduate your players and win a state title and no one is going to remember how many games you lost.”
The team is led by sophomore guard Jazlyn Davis (16.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.4 apg), 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Carmen Deal (15.4 ppg, 11 rpg 2.4 bpg) and freshman guard Blaire Egardo (15 ppg, 4 rpg).