W. Basketball: Falcons lose two OT games at tournament

Women's Track & Field sent a large group to the Cal State LA Invitational
Women's Track & Field sent a large group to the Cal State LA Invitational

Competing in their first tournament of the season, the Cerritos College women's basketball team lost two of their three games at the Riverside City Tournament in overtime. Opening the first day with the host Tigers, the Falcons (1-3) suffered a 72-61 overtime loss and followed that with a 57-50 decision against Solano College. On the last day, Cerritos faced Santa Ana College and were defeated in overtime, 71-63. The team will now travel to the College of the Sequoias Crossover Tournament and play two games next Friday and Saturday.

Cerritos vs. Riverside City: With the game tied and time running out, the Falcons had one last chance to end the game in regulation. Driving down the baseline, sophomore Sarah Hernandez (St. Paul HS) saw her shot rattle off the rim, which sent the game to an extra period. Leading 59-56 with time running out in regulation after freshman Precious Yerena (Downey HS) converted one of two free throws, the Tigers netted one of two free throws with :11 seconds left. On their missed second free throw, Riverside grabbed the offensive rebound and Trinity Vasquez was immediately fouled by Yerena. Vasquez netted both free throws, which set up the last-second shot by Hernandez. With the game tied at 61-61 in overtime, the Falcons missed their final eight shots, while Riverside converted their shots to pull away for the win. Hernandez led the team with 18 points and 16 rebounds, with Yerena contributing 14 points and three steals. Sophomore Kayla Sta. Ana (St. Joseph HS) came off the bench to added 10 points before fouling out, with freshman Nicole Lizarraga (Cantwell Sacred Heart HS) adding five points and five rebounds.

Cerritos vs. Solano: In their consolation game against Solano, the Falcons used a 16-2 third quarter to open up an 11-point lead with 10 minutes remaining. Trailing 26-23 at intermission, Cerritos didn't allow Solano to score until there was 2:26 remaining in the quarter. By that time, the Falcons led, 32-26 thanks in part to six points from Lizarraga and four points from Hernandez. It became a 39-28 game when sophomore Mariah Lora (Warren HS) drained a three-pointer with :59 seconds left in the third quarter. The advantage became the largest of the game (51-37) after a pair of three-pointers from Hernandez, which was enough to hold off Solano. Hernandez led all scorers with 17 points and pulled down six rebounds, with Lizarraga accounting for 12 points, six caroms and three assists off the bench. Yerena provided 11 points and four steals, with freshman Alexis Gonzalez (Downey HS) dishing out five assists. 

Cerritos vs. Santa Ana: In the consolation championship game, the Falcons found themselves behind early, 20-11 after the first quarter. It took until late in the game for Cerritos to finally get within striking distance of the Dons. A three-pointer from freshman Melanie Lopez (Legacy HS), followed by a basket from freshman Jordan Lewis (Downey HS) drew the team to within 45-42 with 2:21 left in the third quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter down by two (48-46), Lizarraga tied the game on a jumper. It took 2:19 for either team to score again, with the Falcons taking their first lead of the game, 49-48 on a free throw from freshman Therese Zekajj (Legacy HS) with 6:49 left in regulation. Lizarraga then made one of two free throws before Yerena put Cerritos in front, 52-48 on a layup with 5:37 remaining. Cerritos then led by seven points (59-52) with 1:45 left, but saw the Dons score eight of the game's final nine points to send it to overtime. In fact, Santa Ana had a chance to take a lead with :03 left, but Shayla Sweet missed the second of her free throws. In overtime, Santa Ana scored the first six points and went on to post the win. Yerena led the team with 18 points, with Lizarraga (13 points, five rebounds) and Lora (12 points, five rebounds) also scoring in double-figures. Hernandez was limited to four points, but led the team with seven rebounds.