By Will Hernandez
The women’s basketball team ended the season on a three game skid, missing the playoffs after a strong start to their season.
In their final home game of the season the Huskies hosted undefeated Mount San Antonio College hoping to end their own skid while attempting to hand Mt. SAC their first loss of the season. Mt.SAC made it clear why they are the state’s No. 1 team, crushing the Huskies 68-29.
East Los Angeles College held its fifth annual “Coaches for Cancer” benefit game, a partnership with the American Cancer Society and all California community colleges. All proceeds raised in last Friday’s game went directly toward (AMC) and their cancer research.
ELAC struggled early on to keep up with Mt.SAC’s stellar play. The Huskies were unable to execute offensively against a stingy Mounties defense. The Huskies went scoreless the first eight minutes of the game. ELAC got on the board when forward Karina Ortiz finished a fast-break point with a layup, after a steal that ended Mt. SAC’s 14-0 run.
The decision to sit Delaura Castanada for most of the first half seemed to have caused the bad start.“It was a coach’s decision. She works full-time and she also has some injuries, I wanted to get her some rest,” Head Coach Erik Turner said.
Castanada entered the game with five minutes left in the first half. Her presence seemed to ignite the team as she was aggresive on the offensive side of the ball. At halftime, the Huskies trailed by eight points, 22-14, despite their late-rally at the end of the first half. The Huskies were their own worst enemy turning the ball over 35 times.
Coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Huskies were flat and out of rhythm. Mt. SAC continued to be effective in the second half going on a 13-0 run increasing their lead to 38-16.The Huskies never stood a chance to catch up.
Guard Dioseline Lopez played small minutes while dealing with a leg-injury. Her ineffectiveness impacted the entire team as they never did get the offense flowing. Even though the team was getting throttled the team on the floor kept fighting.
“I don’t think we were 100 percent for the game. When we play as a team, running with each other, communicating we are a different team. Tonight we didn’t have any of that,” Ortiz said.
With the loss, the Huskies ended the season with an overall record of 15-12. Huskies finished in 5th placed in the South Coast Conference leaving them out of the postseason. The Huskies chances were slim with the overall conference records of all the other SCC teams. ELAC would have received the 14th seed, but with a conference that included Mt. SAC, Long Beach City, and Pasadena, the Huskies were on the outside looking in.
Huskies will quickly look at the upcoming season as they have a number of starters returning and some strong recruits from Whittier.