By Marc Anthony Martinez
The women’s basketball team finished fourth in the 40th annual Charger Classic at Cypress College this weekend after losing two out of three games.
The eight-team tournament was played Friday through Sunday.
The Huskies won their first game in the tournament against Grossmont College beating them 83-44.
They lost to Modesto Junior College in overtime 67-64 and Citrus College 73-71.
“I like the way we fought back and closed in both of the games. We had a chance to win them both, with layups and we didn’t,” Head coach Bruce Turner said on losing the last two games by three points or less.
The game for third place against Citrus was played on Sunday.
The Huskies were down all first quarter and most of the second quarter.
They took the lead with 6:57 left in the second quarter when Makaia Smith would make a jump shot making it 20-19.
It would then be back and forth with the lead for the rest of the quarter.
Guadalupe Vazquez would make a three pointer with 3:37 left in the first half, giving the Huskies a four-point lead, 28-24.
The Huskies would hold that lead until 16 seconds remained on the clock.
With the score 28-26, a foul by Melanye Ramirez with one second left would put Citrus’ Kristin Morella at the free throw line to shoot three free throws and make them all.
This gave Citrus the 29-28 lead going into halftime.
The rest of the game was more of the same.
The Huskies would trail by seven at one point in the fourth quarter, but with help from Vazquez and Asiah Harris making shots they would tie the game at 69 with 2:10 left in the game.
They would be tied again with six seconds left in the game and it looked like it was going to go into overtime for the second straight night in a row.
A foul on Morella took her to the free-throw throw where she made the pair of shots.
This gave Citrus the lead, and eventually the game and placed them third in the tournament.
“Sometimes you want to win so bad you do something that you don’t normally do. I think that’s what it was, trying to be too aggressive because we had the girl [Morella] trapped at the baseline. There’s no reason to reach in and foul,” Turner said about how the last six seconds of the game played out.
The second game played on Saturday against Modesto, the Huskies lost in overtime by two points.
The Huskies either led the game or tied the game for a quarter and a half when Modesto would take the lead 23-21 with 5:05 left in the second quarter.
They would eventually go into halftime tied at 25.
To start the second half Modesto would come out scoring and would go up by 10 points in the third quarter.
They would close out the third quarter up 49-40.
The Huskies looked like they were out of the game until they started to come back after Modesto missed some shots.
The Huskies made some of their shots and got rebounds to help them slowly come back.
Vasquez made the game-tying layup with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
This was enough to take them to overtime with the game tied at 60.
In overtime, the game would be tied at 64 with 2:38 left.
Modesto made a three-pointer making it 67-64 with 1:35 left and that’s all they would need.
The Huskies missed two vital three-pointers to end the game.
Modesto won and advanced to the championship game.
The first game of the tournament the Huskies looked dominant and played hard and both the offense and defense looked good as they would easily beat Grossmont.
Guard Melanye Ramirez played both sides of the ball well, despite only getting four points.
She had a steal and three rebounds and was all over the court as she would dive for the ball and stop defenders from scoring.
“I think my defense definitely improved. We came in hard today, so I was mainly focusing on my defense because I’m mostly a shooter. I knew my shots weren’t hitting, so I came in hard with my defense,” Ramirez said.
With the two losses the Huskies fell to a 5-5 record for the season.
Turner still believes they can make it to the playoffs and that this team is a better team than what shows on paper, they just need to work harder at practice.
He said that if they keep playing without urgency, the losses will pile up quickly.
He also felt that they should’ve been in the championship game and said that his teams have won it eight or nine times out of the 18 times they have competed in the tournament.
“We have enough to get to the state championship playoffs right there on that bench we have enough,” Turner said.
The Huskies next game is at the City College of San Francisco Classic against Butte College on Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. in San Francisco.