PASADENA — The San Bernardino Valley College women’s basketball team has already had plenty of ups and downs and the season is barely one-third over.
So it is no surprise that was again the case when the Wolverines took the floor against Santa Monica in the consolation final of the Rose City Classic on Saturday at Pasadena City College. Fortunately for coach Sue Crebbin, the Wolverines finished on a high note and walked away with a 67-50 victory.
The Wolverines (6-6) turned over their roster almost completely, having graduated their top six scorers from a team that won a Foothill Conference title and set a school record for wins.
Only three players are back and they have been asked to shoulder more of the load. The growing process also has been slowed by injuries to two key players.
If that wasn’t enough, she had two assistant coaches leave for other jobs just as school started.
“We have some potential, but the girls are still trying to figure where they fit in,” Crebbin said. “And the girls we had last year are in different roles now. They came off the bench when there really wasn’t any pressure. Now they’re in there at crunch time and having to make decisions.”
SBVC went from being up by 10 to down by four to winning the game handily. Much of the reason for the roller-coaster ride was the 28 turnovers.
The Wolverines were ahead 32-27 just 2:30 into the second half but had seven turnovers in the next seven minutes, allowing the Corsaiers (3-6) to go up 40-36 on a putback by Chantel Diaz for their biggest lead of the contest.
As quickly as the Wolverines lost control, they gained it back. The contest was even at 46 with 6:23 to go, but SBVC tallied the next 11 points, with four players factoring in that run. A driving layup by all-tournament selection Eisha Sheppard put SBVC up 48-46.
She added a layup off a fastbreak sparked by a rebound from Dwayanna Pullum that later made it 51-46 and the Wolverines never looked back.
The run ended with a pair of free throws by Pullum and a fastbreak bucket by Angela Green for a 57-46 lead with 3:42 to play.
“I’m not sure they’re always aware of the situation and maybe that’s a good thing,” Crebbin said. “They just keep playing and keep shooting. They don’t seem to worry or panic too much.”
Sheppard chalked up a team-high 18 points to go with six rebounds and five steals. Kim Kipp added 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Pullum contributed 12 with nine boards.
Santa Monica relies on its long-distance shooting and made six 3-pointers in the game. The Corsaiers was led by Audriel Wyrick with 10 points. They were represented on the all-tournament team by Diaz.
“This was just one of those grind it out kind of games,” Crebbin said. “It was good to win one like that.”