By Jesse Munoz / COC Sports Information Director
No. 7 For the 25th time in the history of the program, the College of the Canyons entered for the 25th time on Thursday night in a game with No. 10 visitors to Orange Coast College. The Cougars’s women’s basketball team came out on top in the program’s last decade, defeating the Pirates 69-60 to advance to the next round of the California Community College Sports Association SoCal Regional playoffs.
Thursday’s victory was the program’s first post – season victory since the 2010-11 season, the year that head coach Greg Herrick led the Cougar to a third round of the regional playoffs. The victory also pushed the COC to the plateau of 20 victories for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
Canyons freshman Lulu Saloum, who was named the conference’s all-time top player of the year earlier in the week, scored 14 points and conceded nine boards in the second half after nine minutes of play. of the second quarter. Salome was playing under the basket, first she had to be helped off the court. At that time, the Canyons were 21-15 behind the Orange Coast.
Danny Diaz entered the game to replace Saloumi և immediately replaced the attacking rebound.
In the regular zone, Diaz came out with a defensive rebound, quickly found Justice Walters with a long outgoing pass, “for one quick score”, brought the Cougars 21-19. At the other end was Diaz again, this time attributed to completing a beautiful second-year sequence that gave the Cougars a big spark.
“We knew it (LuLu) was out, it was going to be a challenge, but it just means you have to work a little harder,” Diaz said. “And that’s what we did, we got together, we played together, it really worked out.”
While Salome was still on the bench, the COC finally regained the lead with a 29-28 victory over Natalie Satamyan’s Monique Febles, 1:35 in the second quarter.
Orange Coast finally took a 31-29 break after freshman Annie Trin scored three points, less than 12.
In the first half, Fables led the Canyons with 10 points, followed by Walters with nine points.
The Canyons are back with their starting five, including Salloom, starting in the third quarter and quickly returning to rhythm.
Salloom’s eight points in the quarter helped the COC build a five-point lead through a crucial fourth quarter.
“It was more of a mental thing,” Salome said of returning to the game. “I was fine when I hit my first basket. I just had to get myself in the right mindset. ”
Salome, the 12th West State Conference’s Southern Conference Player of the Year, finished the game 7-13 with 18 points and 12 rebounds, making his debut in the off-season.
Malia Semana waited until the fourth quarter to leave her biggest impact, going from 8 to 8 from the rough line to help keep the Cougars ahead in the final minutes.
Walters led all the strikers with 19 points, had six assists, three of which were taken from the defensive edge. Febles finished the night with 16 points.
“It just shows how much of a team we are,” Salome said when his teammates responded when he was out. “When you lose someone, (others) may rise. “They did, they played great.”
The COC was 12-13 from the rough line for the game, scoring a total of 41.5% from the field. The canyons were converted into arches with just three shots, all of which fell out of Walters’ hands.
Orange Coast was limited to 36.1% of shots. The teams matched the glass closely with the COC, with a slight 42-38 rebound advantage. The Cougars completed 13 laps against 15 pirates.
Alexis Legan led the Pirates with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Trin concludes with 16 points and three assists. Savannah Seiler was the other pirate who finished with a double-digit score of 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Canyons (20-7) are now one win away from qualifying for the CCCAA State Championship.
“This victory means everything,” said Diaz, who joined the program as a red shirt freshman in 2018, competed the following year, and then went through the canceled COVID-19 season before entering this season’s sophomore course. “I hope this is just the beginning.”
“We just have to be focused,” Salome said of the team’s behavior as it progressed to the next round. “We can not allow any victory to distract us from what we still want to achieve.”
Canyons Top Performers:
Lulu Salum – 7 out of 13, 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Justice Walters: 16-18, 19 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
Monique Febles – 8 out of 17, 16 points, 3 rebounds, steal
Malia Semana – 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Danny Diaz – 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
The Canyons advanced to the next round of the CCCAA SoCal Regionals and will now travel to Irvine Valley College No. 2 (24-2) on Saturday night. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Irvine Valley beat Cerritos College 91-42 in its regional playoff game on Thursday.
Tickets for all CCCAA all-season games cost $ 12. Students / faculty / staff of both schools (ID card), seniors over 60 և Children under 12 are $ 8.
As a reminder to all the fans, masks and social distance protocols will be on display at the IVC gym for Saturday’s game.
In other scheduled playoff games in the region No. 6 East LA College goes to Moorpark No. 3. No. 4 Palomar hosts No. 12 Cypress, and No. 1 Mt. SAC Must Receive No. 9 Long Beach City College.
The winners of Saturday’s respective competitions advance to the CCCAA State Championships hosted by West Hills Lemoore College in Lemur, California.
The other top four teams from the North / South region will gather in Lemur, and the games will start on Thursday, March 10, in the eight finals of the tournament. The action continues together with the teams of the final four on Saturday, March 12, the championship game, which is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
There are full brackets for both regions is available here.
Stay up to date on all the action this season by following the College Gorges Sports section on social media @ COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook և YouTube or visit COC Athletics here.
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