Looking for their first tournament championship since the 2017-18 season, the Cerritos College women's basketball team came up one game short of the title. The Falcons (3-2), competing in the Riverside City Tournament, defeated the host Tigers (83-60), Rio Hondo College (57-49) and then dropped a 79-64 decision to Bakersfield College in the championship game. Next up will be a 5:00 p.m. non-conference game at San Bernardino Valley College.Izabella Apodaca (La Serna HS) increased the lead to 45-27 and it became a 20-point lead (55-35) after freshman Ashley Miller (Paramount HS) converted one of two free throws with 4:05 left in the third quarter. Freshman Ilani Avila (Downey HS) scored five straight points late in the quarter to increase the lead to 62-39 and the Falcons never looked back.
Miller led the team with 27 points off the bench, while she also included five rebounds, five steals and three assists. The trio of Avila (17 points, five rebounds, five assists four steals), Apodaca (14 points, five assists) and freshman Brianna Flores (Norwalk HS), who had 10 points, all scored in double figures. Although she was kept off the scoresheet, sophomore Therese Zekajj (Legacy HS) pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and handed out four assists, with Yerena accounting for nine points in the win.
Cerritos vs. Rio Hondo: Locked in a tight battle with the Roadrunners, the Falcons only needed to turn to Avila for a big play. Playing in 38 minutes on the night, Avila (pictured, above left), who was named All-Tournament, hit a trio of three-pointers and went on to finish with 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and five assists without committing a turnover. Heading into the second half down by five points (30-25), a layup by sophomore Precious Yerena (Downey HS), followed by a three-pointer from Avila tied the game at 33-33. Later in the quarter, freshman Elia Guerrero (Elizabeth Learning Center HS) and Avila each scored, which gave the Falcons a 39-35 advantage with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Flores drained a long distance shot at the buzzer, to put Cerritos in front, 42-38, heading into the final 10 minutes.
Opening the fourth quarter, Guererro made a layup and Flores knocked down another trey to give the Falcons their largest lead of the game at 47-38. The Roadrunners traded baskets with Cerritos the remainder of the game, with the Falcons turning in the win.
Flores finished with 11 points, with Yerena (six points), Zekajj (four points, nine rebounds) and Apodaca (six rebounds, five steals, four rebounds) all played well.
Cerritos vs. Bakersfield: In the championship game, the Falcons shot stopped falling, as they were limited to just 30% from the field. Trailing by 15 at halftime (35-20), Cerritos was never able to get any closer than 12 points, as the Renegades (5-0) remainded undefeated. Flores led the team with 18 points, while Apodaca chipped in with 10 points in the game. Zekajj led the team with 12 rebounds, with the trio of Yerena, Zekajj and freshman Dominique Harrison (John Glenn HS) all scoring six points.
March 1, 2022 W. Basketball: Playoff win advances Falcons to 2nd Round
February 27, 2022 W. Basketball: Ilani Avila named division Tri-Player of the Year
February 27, 2022 W. Basketball: Cerritos seeded #18 for SoCal Regional Playoffs
February 18, 2022 W. Basketball: Win keeps Cerritos in tie for first place
February 16, 2022 W. Basketball: Falcons rebound for 66-48 win over El Camino
February 11, 2022 W. Basketball: Cerritos still sitting in first place despite loss
February 2, 2022 W. Basketball: Cerritos posts 30-point win over Compton
January 28, 2022 W. Basketball: Second-half offense propels Falcons to win
January 26, 2022 W. Basketball: Late scoring lifts Falcons to win over LB City
January 21, 2022 W. Basketball: Cerritos returns home to post 66-54 win
January 7, 2022 W. Basketball: Falcons win in first game back since December 19
December 19, 2021 W. Basketball: Team splits two games at tournament
December 10, 2021 W. Basketball: Last-second shot misses and Falcons suffer one-point loss
December 3, 2021 W. Basketball: Late lead slips away and so does victory
November 23, 2021 W. Basketball: Cerritos posts 71-44 win in hope opener
November 19, 2021 W. Basketball: Izabella Apodaca hits game-winning three-pointer
November 17, 2021 W. Basketball: Falcons post 34-point win
November 13, 2021 W. Basketball: Cerritos advances to finals of tournament
November 6, 2021 W. Basketball: Team opens season with split