Offense, inexperience define season of discontent

Sophomores lead team, fail to seal consecutive playoff berth

Comet+guard+Ahjahna+Coleman+leaps+for+a+lay+up+during+CCC%E2%80%99s+66-56+loss+to+the+Storm+at+Napa+Valley+College+on+Feb.+20.

Qing Huang / The Advocate

Comet guard Ahjahna Coleman leaps for a lay up during CCC’s 66-56 loss to the Storm at Napa Valley College on Feb. 20.

By Lorenzo Morotti , Editor-in-Chief

Coming off the heels of last seasons’ playoff berth, the women’s basketball team was unable to match the success of last year by only a handful of games.

With only two returning sophomores from the team that made the first round of the 2013-14 Northern California Regional Playoffs, but lost, the two had to become the leaders of an inexperienced Comet team.

Contra Costa College (13-13 overall, and 10-6 in the Bay Valley Conference) women’s basketball coach Paul DeBolt said the team had a rough (1-6) start to the season because of the influx of freshman players, but managed to finish in fourth place in its conference.

DeBolt said due to the early season losses against Porterville College, Taft College and Lassen College, the Comets missed an opportunity to seal a second consecutive playoff berth for the program.

“This was just one of those years,” he said. “Most teams we played against had more size than us and we struggled to score against them.”

After its non-conference loss to Lassen on Dec. 5 the team was able to route Hartnell College in the first game of the Tom Martinez College of San Mateo Tournament, but lost its second game to Santa Monica College.

Before the team’s game against Reedley college the next day, DeBolt calmly explained to his players who have been struggling to coexist that they were acting like a “group home team” and, if they wanted to be more than that, they would have to act like “grown women.”

“To hear that come out of his mouth was surprising,” sophomore guard Carol Oldan said, “But it was time for a wake-up call for us — we needed to get our heads out of our asses.”

Assistant head coach Ebony Young said the 2014-15 season was a “rollercoaster” experience, but thanks to the leadership of sophomore players Ahjahna Coleman and Oldan, the team was able to level out its win-loss record by the end of the season by motivating the freshman players.

“Our freshman players played a big role,” Young said. “They had to identify their roles on the team and that’s tough early in a season when you have eight players.”

Freshman Comet guard Daizah Pounds said it was difficult trying to find where she fit into the scheme of things when dealing with a losing slump and the emotions that come with that sense of inadequacy.

“We started the season 1-6, which from a spectators’ standpoint is failure, or mediocre, and that was discouraging,” Pounds said. “But later it turned out to be beneficial in the sense that we didn’t want to be a weak team. So, we picked up our game and ended with a 50-50 record and showed progress.”

DeBolt said that while the team was not as proficient offensively as it had been in 2013-14, it found a defensive identity, thanks mostly to coach Young’s schemes, and stayed competitive in all its games.

By the end of the season they were averaging about 65 points per game and generated two four-game winning streaks that were separated by three losses to Merritt College, College of Marin and Solano College starting on Jan 24.