Women’s basketball team aims for the playoffs

By Miguel Dominguez

FLYING FOR TWO—Delilah Kimble-Gray avoids Grossmont blockers in midair as she attempts to make a two pointer.

The East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team is currently first place in the South Coast-North division. The Huskies are 7-1 this season. Their biggest win this season is against Cuyamaca College, 82-25.

 The Huskies first loss was against Palomar College which is in first place in that team’s division. The Huskies lost 83-51. “Palomar played well. Palomar has an excellent team,” Bruce Turner, head coach of ELAC’s women’s basketball team, said.  

“We played poorly. We missed a lot of open shots, and they [Palomar] took advantage of it,” Turner said.

Shooting guard and strong forward Naomi Winston-Ellis has been a key player for the Huskies. “Ellis is coming in and providing three-point shooting, she also leads the team in block shots and rebounds,” Turner said.

Ellis is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game and is currently third in the North-South Coast division. Ellis is currently fourth in three-point percentage with 37.1 in the division. Ellis is averaging 10.5 in points per game and is currently 8th in the division.

“We want to have better shot selections. We have good shooters, but free throw percentage is not where we want [it] to be,” coach Turner said. 

The Huskies have a 59.9 free throw percentage on the season. “We want to be in the 75 (percentage) and up,” Turner said.

Point guard Delilah Kimble-Gray is averaging 12.5 in points per game and is 7th in the division.  Kimble-Gray is 6th in field goal percentage with 43.8. Kimble-Gray is 3rd in assists per game with 3.1. “Her (Kimble-Gray) three-point shooting has improved this year,” Turner said.

Point guard Isabel Arango sits in the 9th spot with 9.6 points per game. Arango is currently 8th in rebounds per game with 6.4. In blocks per game, Arango sits at 7th with 0.6 blocks per game. 

“Our defense has been really good the last four games. We shot the ball well the first three games. Once we put the two together, we’ll be really tough to deal with,” Turner said.

Point guard Destyni Heard is 10th in field goal percentage with 38.2. “Heard is a really steady defensive player. She doesn’t get rattled easily,” Turner said.

The Huskies have done a great job so far. Turner believes there is more that can be done. “We are working on our transition defense; we are running back hard, but not communicating like we should,” Turner said.

The Huskies played a tournament this weekend at Cypress College. Their first opponent was El Camino College, winning 68-58. Gray had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal in the game. Aliya Contreras also had 12 points in the win against El Camino.

Heard played six minutes and scored nine points. Maya Clarke played 10 minutes and scored 9 points. Both players came off the bench. The team was 71.8% from field goal range. The Huskies made 6-10 three points and made 6-8 from the free throw line.

For the second game, the Huskies played Grossmont College. Huskies won, 77-39.  Clarke had led the team, with 12 points. Clarke had two rebounds, two blocks- and two steals in the game. 

The last of the tournament, the Huskies faced off against Palomar College again this season. The Huskies lost the game 85-68. Palomar player, Deajanae Harvey, almost had a triple double in the game. 

Harvey led the game with 32 points, 10 assists- and nine rebounds. Ellis had 22 points and Clarke had 12 points for the Huskies. 

This is the second loss of the season for the Huskies, both losses were against Palomar College. The Huskies will be heading to San Francisco next week for a tournament. 

The Huskies are scheduled to play four games that begin tomorrow and end on Sunday. 

After the tournament, the Huskies will have their first home game on  Dec. 27 in the Okawa Classic. 

The Huskies will have three games at home in the Okawa Classic. “It’s great for the student athletes and the parents,” Turner said.  

Turner is confident in his team this season.“This team will definitely go deep in the playoffs,“ Turner said.

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