W. Basketball: Win sets the stage for conference title showdown

File Photo: Damarie Saldivar scored a career-high 29 points against LA Harbor
File Photo: Damarie Saldivar scored a career-high 29 points against LA Harbor

With their 67-59 win over host Los Angeles Harbor College on Wednesday, the Cerritos College women's basketball team will have a chance to earn a share of the South Coast Conference South Division title on Friday. Winners of three in a row, the Falcons (11-14, 6-1) will host first place Long Beach City College at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. A win by Cerritos and the teams will be tied for first place. In their first meeting the Vikings (16-9, 7-0) pulled away for an 81-59 win.

The teams traded the lead throughout the majority of the first quarter until the Falcons went on a 10-0 run in the final 3:18 to take a 20-12 at the end of the first 10 minutes. After a three-pointer from sophomore Damarie Saldivar (Paramount HS), Cerritos held a 25-15 advantage, while a three-pointer at the end of the first half from sophomore Miah Nayback (La Serna HS) sent the Falcons into halftime leading, 32-24.

Although Cerritos never relinquished the lead, LA Harbor closed to within 53-51 early in the fourth quarter until Saldivar hit another of her four three-pointers to regain a five-point lead. A free throw from Nayback and a layup from freshman Rayne Rodriguez (La Serna HS) extended the advantage to 61-53 with 4:56 remaining. Although they only scored three points in the final 3:49, Cerritos was able to hold off the Seahawks, who made just 2-of-8 shots and turned the ball over twice during that time frame.

Saldivar finished with a career-high 29 points to go along with five rebounds and four points, with Nayback adding 15 points, six rebounds and three steals. Off the bench, Rodriguez accounted for eight points, with sophomores Melana Goodloe (Warren HS) and Makayla Moore (Norwalk HS) each posting six points.