Squad secures win despite lack of substitutes

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

Despite only suiting up seven players, the women’s basketball team took an early lead against undersized Los Medanos College (1-16 overall and 1-8 in the Bay Valley Conference) and continued to exert its dominance on offense and defense en route to a 64-45 victory Friday in the Gymnasium.

With just five games remaining in the regular season, the Comets (11-10 overall and 6-3 in the BVC) are playing some of their most inconsistent basketball this year -— despite winning six of their last eight contests.

“We hope to have leaders who know only one way to play — hard,” Comet coach Vince Shaw said. “We play the game the right way no matter what the score is.”

CCC took its first lead of the game on a Julian Robinson (17 points and 14 rebounds) lay-up followed by back-to-back buckets by freshman forward Keyauna Harrison (eight points and six rebounds).

The small outburst of points gave the Comets a 13-9 advantage that the team would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.

At the end of the first quarter CCC led the Mustangs 17-16.

The Comets ratcheted up their defensive intensity holding LMC to only five points in the second quarter.

Guard Lexus Meriwether (10 points and three steals) set the defensive tone for the Comets by opening the quarter with a steal and lay-up triggering an 8-0 CCC scoring run.

“I let the defense come to me and when I see the ball I just go,” Meriwether said.

CCC continued to extend its lead with timely shooting by freshman Dierra Mize (11 points, eight rebounds and four steals) and Kayla Orozco (15 points and six rebounds).

The defensive triumvirate of Mize, Orozco and Meriwether kept Mustang guards from finding any scoring continuity or initiating any effective offensive plays.

“We played an OK game. We could have done better. It was a good win,” Mize said. “We still have a chance to make the playoffs.”

The Comets continue to push toward the postseason tonight when the team travels to Fairfield to play Solano College at 5:30.

After holding Los Medanos to five second quarter points, CCC led at halftime 33-21.

The Comets continued to outplay the Mustangs despite sloppy fouls and unforced turnovers that stunted the team’s attempts to take total control of the contest.

Earlier in the season, the freshman-heavy squad had a hard time finding each other while in the best possible position to score.

Now, after adjustments and the growing pains it takes to gel as winning team, wild 3-pointers are limited and the team has a much more balanced approach to scoring.

Out of seven players, four are scoring in double figures for the team with Robinson’s 19 points-per-game pacing the team and slotting her at ninth in overall scoring in the BVC.

“We have to keep understanding each other and working together. We need to play together as a team and not let anything come between us,” Meriwether said.

The Comets did have a few hiccups in the contest. Minutes into the third quarter consecutive Mustang baskets cut into CCC’s double-digit lead.

“Out of halftime, they (LMC) scored a couple of shots that cut our lead to seven 33-26,” freshman guard Victoria Lopez said. “That’s when we picked up our energy on defense. We knew we had to step it up.”

The contest was a tale of two halves with a second half fueled by the defensive pressure applied in the second quarter.

“At halftime, coach (Shaw) didn’t say much except that we needed to keep our energy up,” Robinson said. “As a team, we knew we wanted to get to our spots to get open layups. On defense we wanted to jump passing lanes so we could continue to get steals without reaching and fouling.”

The Comets regained their composure and held off every Mustang attempt to fight back into the contest en route to  the 64-45 victory.