By Rogelio Alvarez
Women’s basketball defeated Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 81-62 last Friday at home, extending its win streak to seven.
East Los Angeles College, currently ranked No. 1 in the state, has an overall 24-2 record and 7-1in Southern Coast Conference North play.
ELAC is tied for first place in the SCC North Conference. “We had a great second half. We played team basketball, played some great defense and shared the ball unlike the first half when we were throwing it away and taking wild shots,” ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner said. ELAC sophomore guard Tiffani Martinez was influential throughout the game.
Martinez led scoring with 24 points and made six 3-point shots out of 10. “She should have had eight (3-pointers). She’s an outstanding shooter. Last year she had the most 3-pointers in the entire state, so she has a reputation for being a shooter. If you’re a shooter, shoot it. She played an outstanding game,” Turner said.
Martinez is the best player in the state in 3-point percentage, sinking 42 percent of her tries. During the first half of the game, ELAC maintained the lead during the first quarter, but looked sluggish in the second quarter and trailer at halftime 39-36. “In the first half, LATTC came with a lot of energy.
They just wanted it more in the first half but we pulled through in the second half,” ELAC freshman guard Farrah Castillo said. Castillo finished the game with seven points and two steals. ELAC previously defeated LATTC 66-59 early in the season and fought hard to prevent ELAC from winning again.
“We had to control their driver. They have an outstanding driver, (sophomore guard Kendra) Williams. We slowed her down in the second half. That’s their primary scorer so once we did that we kind of caught them off balance,” Turner said.
The match became intense with both teams getting fouls called. Sophomore guard Gloria Ortiz was aggressive and finished the game with a double-double, 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, leading all players in the SCC in rebounding. “We picked it up second half and played together and started making shots,” Castillo said. Freshman guard Monica Garcia came off the bench and scored 13 points with 9 rebounds. Coach Turner said Garcia has the potential of being one of the better players in the state.
Sophomore guard Allissa Gomez was another player whose presence on the court helped ELAC maintain its lead during the fourth quarter. According to Turner, ELAC has to improve its free-throw execution and defensive rotations. “We always wait until the third quarter to make the adjustments.
We need to do that coming out the gate,” Turner said. With just two games remaining in the SCC North, ELAC plays today at Chaffey College, tipoff 7 p.m. ELAC then plays its last conference game against Pasadena City College this Friday in the South Gym at 7 p.m.
The Huskies will be placed as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed into the Southern California Regional playoffs. Pairings and seedings will be released Feb. 20, by the California Community College Athletics Association. Last year, ELAC reached the Final Four for the second consecutive season and lost in the state final game to rival Mount San Antonio College.
The Huskies have split the two games against Mt. SAC, this season losing by 23 points, Jan. 18 on the road and avenging the loss, Feb. 3 at home 71-59.