Comets take sixth after Foothill loss

Winning attempt fails as opponent pressure increases


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Owl guard A.J. Leasau blocks a shot by Comet guard Tynisha Adams during the Contra Costa College Classic at the Gymnasium on Dec. 6.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team came into the 16-team 22nd Annual Costa Classic tournament ready to make a statement, but it left with more questions than answers after splitting its four home games — including a heartbreaking 68-66 loss to Foothill College on Sunday in the Gymnasium.

“It’s a chance to get four home games,” Comet coach Paul DeBolt said. “It’s a good event and healthy for women’s basketball. We are an established and well-known program that attracts good teams to play.”

The action was intense through the tournament with no game providing more opportunities to stand and cheer than the Comets’ final game of the tourney versus Foothill.

After leading 31-22 at halftime, Contra Costa College let multiple opportunities to secure the game slip from its collective grasp.

“Maybe we were a step slower due to fatigue,” CCC forward and the All-Tournament Award recipient Kaylonii Bardell said. “We thought (the Owls) were going to lay down after halftime but they didn’t — we underestimated them.”

The squad’s offense frantically worked to secure a shot in the final 10 seconds of the contest only to have the attempt blocked.

Then, like a gift sent from the basketball gods, Comet guard Tynisha Adams (19 points) was fouled while heaving a shot from half court with two seconds left on the clock earning her three shots from the free throw line.

Adams left the first shot short, meaning the best CCC could do was tie. Then after missing the second, the home team’s only hope was an intentional miss that Foothill corralled effectively to end the game.

“I blocked everything out. My team, their team — I was completely calm,” Adams said. “I could feel my body leaning back — I think I was too relaxed.”

The Comets shone brightly for most of the four-day tournament that spanned from Thursday to Sunday.

In its wins against Modesto Junior College and San Jose City College, CCC met all expectations with a combined win total of 67 points.

Its next attempt to regain a winning posture is Thursday at the Santa Rosa Junior College Tournament. The Comets first match-up of the three-day event is against San Joaquin Delta College at 4 p.m.

Delta ranks first in the Big 8 Conference and their high paced offense ranks tops in 3-pointers attempted and second in 3-pointers made.

Against Modesto, the Comets led 49-28 at halftime but were outscored by the Pirates 17-16 in the third quarter. The third quarter has been kryptonite for CCC as it was outscored by most of its opponents this tournament in it.

In the win against San Jose, CCC featured a balanced scoring attack paced by forward Jacqie Moody (21 points), guard Julian Robinson (15 points) and Adams with 22 points.

The game was littered with highlight shots by Comet guards Daizah Pounds and Jayoni Lewis.

Mission College handed the Comets their first loss of the tournament on the second day of competition.

The Saints used a high-paced offense that ranks them among the top colleges in the state in shots per game.

After every Comet shot, made or missed, Mission let loose a Hail-Mary type pass to a streaking teammate who inevitably sank a layup or a 3-pointer.

The Comets found a way to disrupt the offensive rhythm the Saints established at the onset of the game.

The team used defensive length to disrupt Mission’s passing lanes and used positioning to step in front of driving Saints, eventually leading to CCC’s post players drawing charges.

The pace wore on all of the players, Mission included, as players were seen patting their heads or tugging at jerseys to signal their respective coaches that a blow was in desperate need.

At halftime, the Comets faced a 19-point deficit at 66-47. While CCC outscored the Saints in the second half, it still came out on the short end of the total with the 104-91 loss.

Comet forward Jacqie Moody tallied 25 points in the Mission contest.

“We didn’t rebound and I didn’t make the shots that I needed to make,” Moody said. “We got beat back down the court. It was a lot of running, but both teams played hard.”

As for the other teams in the tournament, Fresno City College beat Diablo Valley College 72-63 to take first place. Third place was taken by Mission College, leaving the hosting Comets in possession of sixth place in the 16-team tournament after its loss to Foothill.