The women’s basketball team went from No. 7 to No. 4 in the CCCAA state poll after it swept the Irvine Valley Tournament, beating No. 1 Long Beach City College in overtime in the process.
“We had an extra five minutes to try and beat LBCC,” head coach Joe Peron said. “Not only were we able to sustain our momentum in overtime, but we were able to survive and beat the best team in the state.”
The Lancers played San Diego City in the first round, Rio Hondo College in the semi-finals and Long Beach for the tournament title.
“The first two games weren’t that bad,” Skai Thompson said. “That last game, however, was intense. We played good defense in the last minute to pull it out.”
Long Beach pushed the Lancers to the brink in a 5-minute overtime, but Thompson made the biggest defense of the game by stealing the ball and feeding it up court to Desiree Loving for a layup. Loving was fouled in the process and completed the three-point play.
“That played killed their spirits,” Loving said. “It was our first overtime game of the season. We had a lot to prove, seeing as we lost two games earlier in the season and I think we are doing that, but we still have more to prove.”
Peron said that Thompson was was named the tournament MVP and Loving was named All-Irvine Tournament selection. Center Kaitlyn Parks flew under the radar with 22 points and 15 rebounds in the game, but didn’t go unnoticed by her coach and teammates.
“The thing about Long Beach is that they have a big team,” Peron said. “Parks held her own and played like a true sophomore. The experience she got last year showed that she has really matured.”
PCC started off a bit rocky, losing two out of their first three games, but since then has won its last six straight.
“We made a big statement with these wins,” Parks said. “We are going to remain focused, though. We will study every opponent and go into every game and leave everything we have out on the court.”