La Verne women advance with win over Redlands

In the first-ever SCIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the University of La Verne held off the University of Redlands 65-60 in a hotly-contested semifinal battle Thursday night at Frantz Athletic Court.

With the win, La Verne (19-7) sweeps the three games against the Bulldogs this season and will face Occidental in Saturday’s SCIAC Championship game in Eagle Rock. The Tigers defeated Cal Lutheran 69-47 in the other semifinal. Redlands ends its season at 17-9.

The Leopard defense proved key in holding the Bulldogs to 37.9% from the field while forcing 15 turnovers. Additionally, the Leos won the rebounding battle with 45 boards compared to 38 for the visitors.

ULV took control late in the first half with a 22-9 run to take its largest lead of the game at 34-21 with 3:02 remaining to eventually hold a 36-27 advantage at intermission.

The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 12-5 spurt to close within two points at 41-39 at the 15-minute mark. Redlands, however, wouldn’t get any closer as the Leopards were able to sustain their lead throughout. La Verne stretched the margin to eight points at 50-42 before the Bulldogs again whittled down the lead to two points (58-56) with five minutes left.

La Verne was able to subdue the Bulldogs by getting key baskets from Emily Carrillo and Trenecca Jones while not allowing a Redlands field goal for over four minutes. Heather Lokar’s three-point basket cut the ULV lead to 62-60 with 21 seconds left, but Jones converted four of five free throw attempts to advance the Leopards to Saturday’s championship game.

Jones tallied 17 points while posting a game-high 18 rebounds. In the process, she collected her 14th double-double of the season. Carrillo sparkled in her return to the lineup with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting to tie for game-high honors with Jones. Marissa Raya added 10 points for the Leopards.

For Redlands, point guard Valarie Katayama posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds with Lokar totaling a team-high 12 points.

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SBVC women look to continue historic run

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO When Sue Crebbin stepped into the womens basketball job at San Bernardino Valley College three years ago she inherited a team that won two games at a school lacking the resources of many of its rivals. There did’t seem to be any indicators that the program could reach the lofty status of it mens counterpart.

But it is Crebbins Wolverines (26-5) preparing for a playoff run which begins Friday with a 7 p.m. game at Snyder

Gymnasium against Fullerton College (20-13), the same team that eliminated it from the playoffs last year.
Should the No. 7 seeded Wolverines get by this one, defending state champion Mt. SAC (32-1) would likely be next. Not even that fazes the veteran team.

If youre going to win it all, you have to beat them all. It doesnt matter when you play them, said Crebbin, who came to the school after coaching stints at Yuba College and American River, both in the northern part of the state. This team would rather play the better teams. They get bored when theyre not playing good teams.

The program has progressed each year. In Crebbins first season the team doubled its win total to four, even though she got the job late in the summer and had no chance to recruit. The positive sign was that three of those wins came in the last four games.

Last season proved to be the breakout year. The Wolverines went 20-10, finishing a respectable third in the Foothill Conference. It served notice by upstaging Orange Coast in the first round of the playoffs for the first postseason win in school history.

That showing and the fact the core of the team returned this season meant higher expectations. Again the Wolverines rose to the occasion, this time winning the conference for the schools third title but the first since 2001.

A win tonight over the No. 10 seeded Hornets would set a school record for wins and stretch the teams winning streak to 16 games, also a record. Crebbin, selected conference coach of the year by her peers, said the character of her players has been a big factor.

Its easy for kids to go to an established program and jump on board, she said. But its more rewarding to go to a school where you can make a difference and be a part of the building process. The fact that these girls came here says a lot about them as individuals.

Team chemistry is another intangible that has been pivotal. Crebbin has 10 players, six of them sophomores. The players spend considerable time together off the court as well, using their bye week to go bowling.

Sophomore Sylvia Roland graduated from Rialto High School and originally went to Division II New Mexico Highlands to compete in track. She didnt like it there and transferred to SBVC after talking with former teammate JaNae Westmoreland who played at SBVC the previous two seasons.

Everyone wants to go away. But I got there and didnt like it, she said. Here were like a family. Everyone gets along. Now I wish I would have come here first.

While Crebbin and assistant Julia Smith have put in countless hours attending games at area high schools, word of mouth has also landed them quality players. Sophomore Simeone Baker came to SBVC two years ago because Elizabeth Luke, a former teammate at Twentynine Palms, was playing volleyball for the Wolverines.
Baker looked into the school because of Luke, then found out about its strong nursing program and was sold.

The Wolverines, ranked No. 10 in the state and fifth in Southern California, graduated their two solid post players so this years squad has relied on athleticism and a tenacious defense.

The team is balanced with sophomore guard Shy Walter (12 ppg, 4.5 rpg) followed closely by sophomore point guard Jasmine Mashall (10.1 ppg, 4.1 rg, 4.7 spg, 4.3 apg). Those two were first-team all-conference selections along with Baker (8.7 ppg, 7 rpg), whom Crebbin singles out at the most consistent player on the squad.

They are joined in the starting lineup by Roland (7.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and sophomore forward Ronisha Edwards (9.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) with sophomore guard LaQuita Jordan (9.3 ppg, 2.2 spg, 2.3 apg), the spark plug off the bench.

Showings against common opponents favor the Wolverines as SBVC has beaten three opponents to whom the Hornets have lost. Both teams have common losses to Mt. SAC and Pasadena with those by the Wolverines coming by smaller margins.

The Hornets have five sophomores, with two of those – Jessica Duran (11.2 ppg, 5 rpg) and Amy Richard (11.6 ppg, 10.1 rpg) – the teams top scorers. At 5-11 and 6-1 their height will pose a problem for the smaller but quicker Wolverines.

Were happy about getting the chance to redeem ourselves, Baker said. Its always nice to get to knock out the team that knocked you out last time.

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Chaffey, Mt. SAC women start playoffs

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

When the Chaffey College womens basketball team takes the court Friday in the first round of the Southern California Regional playoffs, it will be facing a team that plays much the same style.

The No. 9 seeded Panthers (24-7) will play at No. 8 Cerritos (24-8) at 7 p.m. Not only are the teams similar, they have played before. If that game is any indication of things to come the playoff game should be tightly contested.

The Falcons won the first game at a tournament hosted by Orange Coast 71-61. That game went to overtime as the teams ended regulation tied at 57.

They are very much like us, third-year Chaffey coach Gary Plunkett said. They like to run and we like to run.

Both of us play a motion offense where we like to spread the floor. It should be a great game. Our girls were excited about getting another chance at them.

The winner of the game will advance to face No. 2 seed Orange Coast (29-3).

The Panthers finished tied for third in the Foothill Conference. They have only two sophomores, one of them starting forward Christina Warren (13.5 ppg, 5 rpg) who netted 23 points the first time the teams played.
Joining her in the starting lineup are four freshmen – guards Tamesha Jackson (13.2 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Keisha Mackall (11.9 ppg, 3.6 apg), forward Aundria Anderson (10 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and 6-foot-1 center Johnshunay Parson (4.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg).

Zipporah Brown (5.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg), another freshman, has been a steady performer off the bench.

Cerritos, the first place team out of the South Division of the South Coast Conference, has four players averaging double figures led by sophomore guard Maltresa Neely (13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg). The Falcons are ranked sixth in Southern California and 12th in the state. Plunkett is also quite familiar with the Falcons coaching staff.
Assistant Steve Johnson went to Alta Loma High School and coached in youth leagues in Rancho Cucamonga. He was also an assistant at Dominguez Hills at the same time Plunkett was there.
Cerritos head coach Karen Welliver is in her 25th year and has won more than 500 games. Plunkett recruited many of her players when he was with Dominguez Hills.

Knowing them so well will make it that much more fun, he said. I a looking forward to it.

Defending state champion Mt. SAC (32-1) begins defense of its title on Saturday. Coach Laura Beemans Mounties will host Santa Ana (18-13), which defeated Cuesta 65-56 Wednesday night in a play-in game.
Mt. SAC has won 32 straight games since dropping its season opener to Orange Coast and is led by conference player of the year Jazlyn Davis (18.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg), a bounceback from USC.

Other key players include 6-2 sophomore center Carmen Deal (15.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg), sophomore guard Sahfiya Brown (8.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and freshman guard Blaire Edgardo (9.1 ppg).

Citrus (30-1) is the lone area representative still left on the mens side. The top-seeded Owls open play against Imperial Valley (21-10) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The teams have not played this season.

Citrus is coming off its first Western States Conference title in 25 years and enters riding an 18-game win streak. Its last loss came to Antelope Valley in quarterfinal play at a tournament in Riverside in December.

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