By Will Hernandez
The Huskies began the 2012-13 season with a bang defeating tough non-conference opponents at the Fourth Annual Diabetes Invitational at Mission College, Nov. 9-11, in Santa Clara.
East Los Angeles College won the tournament by defeating De Anza College 47-38, after previously beating Chabot and Mission colleges.
The Huskies defeated Chabot College by 13 points, 56-43. Three-guard transfer from Cal State Dominguez Hills, De Laura Castaneda, led the Huskies with 13 points.
The Huskies then played Mission College in which several Husky players called it the defining game of the tournament.
On paper, the matchup between ELAC and Mission seemed lopsided.
Mission College entering the game was the second highest scoring team in the state a season ago and returned every starter.
The game however was neck-and-neck. The Huskies were able to hold off Mission, winning 82-77. Castaneda, again propelled the Huskies with 21 points.
Daniella Eona spoke about the confidence and mentality created, as result to the battle against Mission.
“We didn’t only win once; we won multiple times in that game. It was an intense game.”
“With just the feel on the court, you knew it was going to be a good game. The result showed not only our progress but how well we’re coming together,” Eona said.
Turner credited his team’s defense for holding Mission to 77-points, 15 lower than Mission’s per game average from last season.
“The Mission game was important, they beat us twice during the summer, and in that game we would take the lead, then give it back, than we took it back and that really showed how much better as a team we are getting,” Theresa Miller said.
Turner expressed his opinion on his team’s gutsy performance and said that what impressed him the most was the resilience of his squad that consists of only freshman.
“I was impressed with how they stuck together. The general tendencies of freshman players are that they’re wild. These girls really stuck it out and grinded it out in all three games,” Turner said.
Turner continued to say, “The first two were tough, we had to pull away and they (players) did that with composure and in the third game we won with more ease.”
The Huskies crushed De Anza on the boards, rebounding a total of 50 times.
The Huskies would walk away at the end of the game with the win, and the title of champions defeating De Anza, 47-38.
Castaneda walked away with the crown of tournament’s Most-Valuable-Player.