W. Basketball: Tournament ends with Falcons win

File Photo: Jordan Lewis (23) and the Falcons posted a win over West Hills-Lemoore
File Photo: Jordan Lewis (23) and the Falcons posted a win over West Hills-Lemoore

In their final game of the Fullerton Tournament on Monday, the Cerritos College women's basketball team recorded a three-point win over West Hills-Lemoore College. The Falcons (6-8), who opened the tournament with a 71-54 loss to Skyline College, followed that with a 67-46 setback against the host Hornets before their 48-45 win over West Hills-Lemoore. The team will travel to Orange Coast College on Friday for a 5:00 p.m. non-conference game.

Cerritos vs. Skyline: Through the first 20 minutes of their game against the Trojans (9-6), the Falcons held a 38-31 advantage. However, cold shooting in the second half limited Cerritos to just 16 points after combining to go 6-for-34 from the field. Precious Yerena (Downey HS) opened the second half with a three-pointer to keep the Falcons in front, 41-35, and it was still 43-36 with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter after another Yerena basket. The team didn't score again until there were only :37 seconds remaining when freshman Nicole Lizarraga (Cantwell Sacred Heart HS) connected on a shot to tie the game at 45-45. It would be over 6:00 before Cerritos would score again, and by that time, Skyline had opened a 59-48 lead after a Mariah Lora (Warren HS) three-pointer. Sophomore Sarah Hernandez (St. Paul HS) ended up leading the team with 20 points, 12 rebounds and six steals, while Lora (11 points) and Lizarraga (10 points, four rebounds, three assists) also scored in double-figures.

Cerritos vs. Fullerton: A slow start by both teams enabled them to stay close early on, but the Hornets went on a hot streak to finish off the first quarter and take a 17-12 lead. With the game tied at 10-10 with 3:05 left in the quarter, the Falcons went 0-for-5 with two turnovers the rest of the way. A three-pointer from freshman Jordan Lewis (Downey HS) moved the team to within 17-15 early in the second quarter, but their next point didn't come until a free throw from Lizarraga with 3:25 remaining, which made it a 24-16 Fullerton lead. A three-pointer from sophomore Kayla Sta. Ana (St. Joseph HS) with 7:04 left in the third quarter got the team to within 11 points (37-26). But they would be unable to get any closer, as the Hornets pulled away for the win. Hernandez led the team with 13 points and seven rebounds, with Lizarraga adding 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Sta. Ana and freshman Therese Zekajj (Legacy HS) came off the bench to combine for nine points, with Lewis posting nine points and six boards.

Cerritos vs. West Hills-Lemoore: A 20-point third quarter turned a 24-15 halftime deficit into a 35-31 lead with 10 minutes remaining. Yerena scored nine of her 14 points in the third quarter, but it was free throws that helped the team get back into the game. Lizarraga tied the game at 22-22 and put them in front when she made one of two free throws with 6:49 left in the period. In the final 5:36 of the quarter, Cerritos scored six of their points from the charity stripe. Although they didn't score in the final 3:26, they still led 35-31 at the end of the third quarter. Lizarraga improved the lead to 37-31 on a jumper with 8:34 left and then added a pair of free throws. It was a 46-43 Cerritos lead with 1:06, and after a turnover, Lora pulled down a missed West Hills shot with :34 seconds remaining. After getting fouled, Lizarraga converted one of two free throws with :30 seconds left. West Hills scored to make it a 47-45 game with :19 seconds remaining. After both teams called timeout, Lewis missed both free throw attempts with :11 seconds left. West Hills had a chance to take the lead, but missed a three-pointer. Sta. Ana was good on one of two free throws with :05 seconds left to close out the scoring. Lizarraga led the team with 16 points and added four rebounds, while Lewis (six points, nine rebounds) and Hernandez (eight points, six rebounds) also made contributions.