By Michelle Gardner
The Chaffey womens basketball team appears fully recovered from a 71-57 shellacking at the hands of San Bernardino Valley College last week. The Panthers (21-6, 9-3) bounced back with a 73-66 win over College of the Desert on Saturday and remain tied for third with Foothill Conference play winding down.
Chaffey has four games remaining – road games at Antelope Valley (15-12, 9-3) and Rio Hondo (15-11, 5-6) and home games against Mt. San Jacinto (19-9, 11-2) and Victor Valley (1-22, 0-11). The Panthers are two games behind frontrunner SBVC and tied with Antelope Valley a game and half behind second-place Mt. San Jacinto.
The Panthers beat three of those four foes in the first round of conference play, the loss coming to Mt. San Jacinto 68-57.
SBVC is the top team, no question about that, coach Gary Plunkett said. After that it is very close. All four of us are going to make the playoffs it is a question of who finishes where. We could be as high as second or we could be fourth. This is a crucial stretch of games.
The team was going through some adversity in the last two weeks that resulted in the dismissal from the team of one player. It carried over into last weeks game but Plunkett thinks his team is back on track.
That was probably just the kind of game we needed to get us refocused, Plunkett said. We came back Saturday and played a very solid game. We were back to playing Panther basketball.
The loss to SBVC knocked the Panthers out of the top 20 state poll but they are still ranked No. 12 in the South.
The good news for Plunkett is that the squad includes just two sophomores – guards Christina Warren (13.7 ppg, 5 rpg) and Jessica Thorpe (4.1 ppg).
The team has several talented freshmen, most notably guards Keisha Mackall (12.2 pg, 3.8 apg) and Tamesha Jackson (12.9 ppg, 3.8 apg), forwards Aundria Anderson (10.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Zipporah Brown (5.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg).
Were kind of where SBVC was last year, Plunkett said. Last year they had freshmen and all those girls are back and you can see how much better they are with that experience. Were building that this year.