By Dan Gudino
Women’s basketball hosted and won the 4th annual Husky Classic Tournament on Thursday, beating Saddleback College 67-58.
East Los Angeles College, finishes 2016 as the No. 1 team in the state with a 14-1 record.
It was a rematch of the 5th Saddleback Lady Gaucho Classic Tournament back in November, where the Huskies beat Saddleback in the tournament final, 62-57.
The win against Saddleback granted the Huskies it’s fourth tournament win of the season. ELAC won the Cypress College, Mission College, Saddleback and Husky Classic tournaments.
ELAC’s freshman point guard, Farrah Castillo, had a team-high 14 points to seal 2016 as the best start for women’s basketball in school history according to the Athletic Department.
The Huskies were down 14-12 into the second period, but responded with back-to-back steals from sophomore backup center Gloria Ortiz and back-to-back scores from Castillo, ceasing the lead the rest of the game.
Defensively, ELAC had a excellent performance, stealing the ball 12 times and forced 22 turnovers, as Ortiz finished with six steals.
Ortiz had an impressive game off the bench, recording her fifth double-double in the season, finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds and a block. Ortiz has scored double figures in eight straight games, all in the month of December.
Through the tournament the defense played tough and it started on Tuesday, in game one against Imperial Valley College. It is believed the 80-point margin of victory, 99-19, is a school record, yet due to poor bookkeeping there are no record books or stats dating back prior to 2011.
In the victory against Imperial, ELAC allowed two points the whole second half, also believed to be a school record. Athletic Director Al Cone said it might have been the second time ELAC held a team to two points in a half, but could not confirm.
On Wednesday, in round two of the Husky Classic, ELAC beat Los Angeles Harbor College, 101-65, marking the first time ELAC has eclipsed the century mark since the 2013-14 season. ELAC has won the Husky tournament three times out of the four it has hosted.
Husky sophomore forward, Katrina Reeves, was named the tournament most valuable player. Reeves showed off her skills off the bench and averaged a team-high 13 points through the three tournament games. Reeves, at times was too strong, too physical for opposing defenses as she continuously out worked players with tenacity, showing how valuable she will be in late March.
ELAC’s lone lost of the season came Dec. 18, in the tournament final of the San Francisco City College Rams Tournament, losing 81-73.
The ELAC Athletic Department made an error of labeling the tournament the “5th Annual Husky Classic.” This was an error that was discovered day two of the tournament, when it was too late to reprint fliers, posters and T-shirts. It was the fourth year of the Husky Classic. It did acknowledge the error and has notified the California Community College Athletic Association.
The Huskies will start 2017 on the road, Jan. 7, against El Camino College at 6 p.m.