The Lancers women’s basketball team took home a win for their season opener on Friday against Bakersfield College (76-49), but lost a close match Saturday to Antelope Valley College (52-46).
After being eliminated in the second round of the CCCAA SoCal Regionals in March, the Lancers were back on the court again for the Turner and Stanley Crossover Tournament. Their return came with many new faces, in that nine freshmen are on the team this year, with only two returners from last season.
Among them, freshman guard Celine Bolton-Ford, freshman forward Mercy Odima and returning sophomore forward Alisa Shinn dominated the court, specifically in the first game. Odima and Bolton-Ford each had 20 points for their debut, along with Shinn who had 15 points according to the PCC athletic website. For Odima, it was a mental approach.
“Personally I went into the game with the mindset that I’m going to play my best and that I was going to accept the outcome whichever it was, I would be ok with it as long as I played my best,” said Odima.
Coach Joe Peron also thought the tournament went well overall, despite the loss.
“Overall I was satisfied with our effort. We fought hard in both games. Our strength continues to be our height and length,” said Peron. “So we can continue to compete with teams on rebounding and scoring in the paint.”
He also admired the performance of Odima, Bolton-Ford, and Shinn.
“Those three players stood out the most this weekend, they are the core to our team,” said Peron. “Those three scored more points than our Bakersfield opponent the first night.”
The Lancers also picked up 15 steals and 8 blocks. Though, with strengths come weaknesses, which the team has encountered in health and injuries.
“We went into the tournament not having all of our team and then we lost Merina Latu to a sprained ankle injury the first game which really hurt us in our second game,” said Peron.
This has been more of a motivation for them, in that from the moment freshman guard Latu was injured, it gave the team a momentum to push forward.
“I mean at that point we knew that we had to get that win for her and for our other players who weren’t able to play in the tournament,” said Odima. “[Also] when Alisa got into foul trouble but when she came back into the game she just dominated and I think that was something to look up to as an incoming freshman.”
With a whole season still ahead of them, the Lancers’ first two games was only a piece of what they will face ahead but also how they will approach what is to come, along with Peron’s ideas for his team’s strategy.
“[We’ll] be the best we can be and play hard,” Perone said. “Win the last game we play and work through the typical grind of the games during the season, which will help us to win the games we’re suppose to win, while putting ourselves in a position to have a chance to win the games where we may not be favored to win.”
The Lancers will face LA Southwest tomorrow in game one of PCC’s President Roundball Classic tournament and will take place in the Hutto Patterson Gym at 8 p.m.
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