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Beaten by the best

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By Ricky Holmes / Staff Writer

By Ricky Holmes / Staff Writer

The Riverside City College women’s basketball team ended the month of February on a high note. Unfortunately, the team could not carry that tune into the second round of the playoffs.

The Tigers started their playoff hopes at Wheelock Gym against the twelfth-seeded Cerritos Falcons. Maria Mesa-Nauls led the Tigers with 16 points. Gloria Thomas scored 14 points and Alexis Fowler added 10 more to help Riverside beat Cerritos 89-66.

The fifth-seeded Tigers then had the daunting task of traveling to Pasadena to take on the favored Lancers.

The RCC women’s basketball team was unable to overcome defending state champion Pasadena City College in the California Community College Southern regionals. The Tigers played hard but still ended up coming up short as RCC lost 65-56 in the team’s second round playoff game.

RCC trailed by only one point at the end of the first half, only to be outscored 31-23 in the second half. Riverside had three players in double figures but even that was not enough to overcome a strong Pasadena team. RCC stacked up well against the Lancers and were able to keep pace with them for most of the game.

Maria Mesa-Nauls, Gloria Thomas and Crystal Vasquez all had 10 points for the Tigers but poor free throw shooting did not help the teams championship hopes, as RCC went six out of 18 from the foul line.

Although the Tigers shot poorly from the foul line, the team never trailed by more than five points for the majority of the game. It wasn’t until the final three minutes that the Lancers were able to pull away from the Tigers. During those final three minutes, the Lancers went on an 11-2 run to solidify the victory and advance to the state finals.

RCC finished off the season with an overall record of 22 wins and nine losses following its loss to Pasadena and even though the Tigers playoff run may be over, the team still has good reason to hold its head high.

Prior to the beginning of the playoffs, four members of the team were selected to the Orange Empire Conference All-Star team. Samera Dorton and Crystal Vasquez received first team honors while Mesa-Nauls and Thomas were selected for the second team.

The California Community College Women’s Basketball Association selected Vasquez and Dorton to the 36-member All-State team. Vasquez, who averaged 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds, was selected to the second team while Dorton, who averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds, was selected for the third team.

“I think for the last two years that it has been an honor to coach them,” coach Alicia Berber said of Vasquez and Dorton. “I think that they are very deserving of it. They are both hard working kids and they are really good kids off the floor. They truly are student athletes.”

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