By Dan Gudino and Maria Isabel Cubillo
The talent off of the bench for women’s basketball carried the team in the win over Santa Ana College 88-74 at home Saturday, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the playoffs.
The bench of East Los Angeles College proves the Huskies have more depth than most teams, outscoring the opponent’s bench in 21 of 29 games through the season.
Sophomores, guard Katrina Reeves and center Gloria Ortiz had an excellent game off the bench. Reeves scored 16 points and Ortiz registered her 8th double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Husky bench outscored Santa Ana’s bench 32 to seven, while missing its leading scorer, freshman guard Monica Garcia, (11.2 points per game) who comes off the bench.
“You can see how valuable Garcia can be. The points she scores, her defense really make a difference. We could a have used her tonight,” Head Coach Bruce Turner said.
Garcia, sat out the game because she was suspended for her two-technical fouls last week against Pasadena City College players.
Garcia and the Huskies will meet an aggressive Pasadena team on Saturday at home at 7 p.m.,
Pasadena will be hungry to avenge its two losses to ELAC this season, Feb. 1, 58-45 and Feb. 17, 78-49.
ELAC kept its distance in the final period with precise free throw shooting. Sophomore guard, Allissa Gomez, led all Husky players, sinking 17 of 22 free throws.
Gomez made two shots the whole game, but her calm form at the free throw line made seven consecutive free throws to close the game.
Assistant Coach Sarai Trinidad, walked off the court admitting it was not the best performance of the season for ELAC.
Turner said, it might of felt scary for many as Santa Ana kept itself in the game, he added the team has come together quickly and they play a “run and gun” style, very fast pace.
Turner described the team as resilient. He mentioned that there has been injuries and players with personal problems and thus players had to miss practice and games.
ELAC will continue its road to state and a victory against Pasadena guarantees a trip to Las Positas College, in Livermore, CA, for a third straight season.
The California Community College Athletic Association State Championships run March 10-12.
The Huskies are now 27-2 this season coming off their best regular season record ever and considered the best overall record by any sport at ELAC.
It’s fitting the women’s team chronicles its own history, across the country, University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball is on a historic run, a 101-game win streak
Far from the excellence of a UConn team, ELAC proudly finished the regular season 26-2, surpassing by percentage points the previous 26-3 regular season record finish of 2014-15.
ELAC had its best start to a season ever, going 11-0. Its only losses this season have come to San Francisco City College and Mount San Antonio College.
ELAC captured its first conference title under coach Turner, his first in 11 years of coaching at ELAC.
“It’s been a long time coming, but the journey, I would not give it up, nothing. This group has really performed. The young ladies, they’ve put in a ton of work to make this a special season,” Turner said