W. Basketball: Cerritos picks up one win at the Fullerton Tournament

File Photo: Francine Carrillo and the Falcons won one of three games at the Fullerton Tournament
File Photo: Francine Carrillo and the Falcons won one of three games at the Fullerton Tournament
Competing in their final non-conference tournament, the Cerritos College women's basketball team posted one win in three games at the Colleen Riley Winter Tournament at Fullerton College. The Falcons (3-11) opened with a 52-48 win over Porterville College, but followed with a close 65-62 loss at the hands of College of the Canyons and capped off the tournament with a 72-57 setback against the host Hornets. It also marked the final games of 2023 for Cerritos, who will open 2024 on January 3 when they travel to MiraCosta College for a 3:00 p.m. game.

C Locked in a 32-32 tie at intermission in the first game of the tournament, the Falcons fell behind, 37-36 with 5:06 left in the third quarter. They responded by scoring the game's next nine points, with sophomore Damarie Saldivar (Paramount HS) accounting for four of the points and freshman Rayne Rodriguez (La Serna HS) adding three points. They took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter, but after a Saldivar layup made it a 48-39 advantage, Cerritos the final 9:28 by scoring just four points. However, the lead held up, as Porterville shot 4-for-20 from the field in the quarter, which included going 1-for-7 from three-point range.

Saldivar led all scorers with 23 points, while she added five rebounds and four steals in the win. Sophomore Melana Goodloe (Warren HS) added 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals, with Rodriguez finishing with seven points and five assists off the bench. Freshmen Jayden Estrada (Anaheim HS) contributed six points and five rebounds, while Francine Carrillo (Cerritos HS) pulled down eight rebounds.
CERRITOS VS. COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS: Looking for their second win in as many days, the Falcons were locked in a tight battle with the Cougars. Although they trailed 31-24 at intermission, Cerritos was able to pull to within 33-30, with Goodloe accounting for four straight points. However, they were only able to get as close as 42-41 late in the third quarter after consecutive baskets from Estrada.

It was a 47-45 game early in the fourth quarter until Canyons scored nine of the next 12 points in the game. Cerritos made one last push, and after Estrada scored five consecutive points, the Falcons were now within striking distance at 61-60 with 59 seconds remaining. The Cougars held off Cerritos by converting their last four free throws. Sophomore Makayla Moore (Norwalk HS) was able to get off a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off-line.

Estrada (17 points, seven rebounds, five assists), Goodloe (15 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two blocks), Saldivar (15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals) and Carrillo (11 points, nine rebounds) led the Falcons.
CERRITOS VS. FULLERTON: In their final game of the tournament, the Falcons were outscored, 26-13 in the second quarter, which allowed the Hornets to open a 37-21 advantage at intermission. Cerritos traded baskets with Fullerton in the third quarter but could not gain any ground. By the end of the game, Rodriguez posted a team-high 12 points with five assists and three rebounds off the bench. Goodloe hauled down 10 rebounds to go with her eight points, with Carrillo adding 10 caroms and seven points.

Sophomore Miah Nayback (La Serna HS) added 11 points and five rebounds for the Falcons, with Estrada (nine points, three assists) and Saldivar (eight points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) also turning in an all-around game.