Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cypress Takes Second Place at Charger Classic

Cypress lost to East L.A. 61-48 in the finals of the Lady Charger Classic.
Cypress, Calif. - Cypress College finished second in the 2011 Lady Charger Classic on Sunday after a 61-48 loss to East. Los Angeles College in the championship final at Don Johnson Court in Cypress, Calif.
Samantha Soria led the Chargers (7-3) in scoring with eight points against a tough East L.A. (8-1) defense that finished with 14 steals. Jonelle Bowers added seven points for Cypress on 3 of 6 shooting from the floor. Bowers also had a team-high six steals in the game. Sloane Turner, Melissa Jensen and Jessica Romero each chipped six points apiece.

On the boards, Turner paced the Chargers with eight, Jensen had seven,   Ivory Hallstein pulled down three, and six other Chargers finished with two rebounds.

East L.A.'s Keyanna Johnson was selected as the tournament MVP after turning in a game-high 24 points on 10 of 16 shooting, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Cypress Sloane and Soria were selected as All-Tournament Team selections after their solid performances all weekend.

In the final, Cypress got off to a cold start shooting, only hitting six of its 29 first half shots. The Chargers did hit 57.9% of their free throws before the break,but the Huskies came out of the gate firing. Johnson scored 19 of her 24 points before the intermission to help put East L.A. up 39-15 at halftime.

The Chargers played much better defense in the second half by shutting down the Huskies leading scorer, and limiting the team to just 9 of 27 field goals after the break.

Offensively, Cypress still had some trouble scoring on East L.A.'s press,but still managed to outscore the Huskies 24-22 in the last 20 minutes of play.

The Chargers won't get much rest after this tourney is over. They get right back after it at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, with a road game at College of the Canyons.

The Chargers close out their non-conference slate of games next weekend at the Antelope Valley College Holiday Tournament on December 15-17. In the first round, Cypress will meet L.A. Pierce College at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.

To get to the finals, the Chargers advanced through the first two rounds of the three-day-tourney by cruising to a 63-50 victory over Rio Hondo College in their opener on Friday. Samantha Soria and Sloane Turner tied for a game-high 11 points apiece, while Melissa Jensen finished one shot back with 10 points. Turner also led the Chargers in rebounds with nine. Kaitlyn Roche added seven, and Jessica Romero chipped in six. As a team, Cypress finished with 48 boards and eight assists, while hitting 20 of 37 shots from the charity stripe.

In their second game of the Classic on Saturday, the Chargers played as the visiting team on their home court against a tough American River squad that was coming off a 55-48 victory over Santa Monica College in Friday's nightcap.

Turner led the Cypress scoring attack for the second time in as many days after putting up 14 points on 7 of 12 from the floor. Soria and Doreen Lopez each added 10 points, while Jonell Bowers chipped in with seven points, six rebounds, and a steal.

Lopez seemed to like the number 10 so much, she went ahead and matched it with 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double that included knocking down 5 of 11 shooting.

East L.A. (7-1) earned its spot in the Charger Classic Championship Game this afternoon by routing Palomar College 79-40 in a late afternoon contest on Friday, before taking out cross-town rival West L.A., 72-53, in the semis to set up today meeting against the Chargers.

Both squads will be looking to pick up win number eight with only 10 games in the books this year thanks to some solid play early on.

This Charger team may be a little younger than the veteran squad that made it all the way to the CCCAA State Championship Final Four last season, but they do have the talent, size and heart it  will take to get the Lady Chargers back there at the end of this season.

Cypress head coach Margaret Mohr had a young team that was a little rough around the edges at the beginning of the 2004-05 season, but by the time the dust settled at the State Championship in San Diego, Calif., Mohr and those Lady Chargers were crowned State Champions, and returned home from San Diego with Cypress College's first women's basketball state title in school history.

In the weekend's other action at the Charger Classic, West L.A. advanced to play East L.A. in the semis by knocking off Grossmont College 70-55 in the opening game of the tournament.

American River wound up in today's third place game against West. L.A, after getting by Santa Monica in the first round, before losing by eight points to the the host Chargers in Saturday's late game.

On the other side of the bracket, Santa Monica earned a spot in this morning's consolation game against Grossmont by taking down Rio Hondo 67-55 in a loser's bracket matchup.

After losing by 39 points to East L.A. in the opening round of this year's Classic, Palomar couldn't get much going on offense against the Griffins defense either, in a  52-41 loss that set up today's consolation matchup between Grossmont and Santa Monica.

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