Champs regroup, out pace opponents

Top seeded team starts season, adjusts to coach, player changes

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

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Last year, the women’s basketball team finished in first place in the Bay Valley Conference (21-10 overall, 11-1 in the BVC) earning a No. 13 seed in the NorCal Regional Playoffs in the process.

This year the team has a new coach, some new players, but the same championship aspirations as the 2016 season gets underway.

With just three games in the books, first-year Comet coach Vince Shaw already has his team off to a 2-1 start.

The team opened its season at the Los Positas Tournament led by the 2015 BVC Most Valuable Player Julian Robinson.

After dropping its first contest to Modesto Junior College (3-1) 64-56, CCC rebounded to win its next two match-ups.

“We are faster than last year offensively and defensively,” Robinson said. “It was just the first game. We still had jitters as a team.”

Robinson said playing with new teammates is different in live-game situations than it is in practice — especially this early in the season.

“It’s an adjustment but not an uncomfortable adjustment,” Robinson said. “Last year there were more sophomores so everyone already knew what their job was on the court. Right now, we are still discovering our roles.”

After leading 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, Modesto outscored CCC by 10 in the second quarter. CCC failed to get consistent stops and eventually fell to MJC after being outscored in the second half 35-30.

“The first game was bull, but we regrouped for the second and third games,” Comet guard Lexuis Meriwether said.

In their 77-52 win versus College of the Redwoods (0-2), the Comets, paced by Robinson’s 21 points, sprinted out to a 37-20 halftime lead.

CCC held the Corsairs to 29 percent shooting from the field which sealed the win despite only making nine trips to the free throw line.

In the second game against Redwoods, five Comet players scored in double digits.

Freshman Victoria Lopez had 18 points for CCC, while Meriwether, Dierra Mize and Azanae Lewis all poured in 11 points in the game.

“The pace is so much faster on this level,” Lewis said. “We need to play together and be on the same page, but we are on pace and growing.”

The team returns to action Friday against City College of San Francisco in the Sierra College Tournament in Rocklin at 1 p.m.

In the final game of the Las Positas Tournament for the Comets, a 72-61 win against Lassen College (2-4), the team overcame a horrendous 4-29 shooing effort from behind the 3-point arc by forcing turnovers and winning the battle-of-the-boards.

The Comets forced Lassen into 35 turnovers while also pulling down 56 rebounds.

Robinson led CCC in scoring with 28 points. Lewis, Mize and Meriwether also contributed with double-digit point totals of 15, 17 and 11 points respectively.

Keyauna Harrison also made her presence felt for the Comets by grabbing 10 rebounds in the game.

“Our concept is continuity. Everyone has a job to do to be successful,” Shaw said. “Every player might not be on the stat line, but everyone on the team is important.”

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