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Future bright for young core

Los+Medanos+College%E2%80%99s+Fatima+Talag+weaves+through+the+Mendocino+defenders+and+drives+toward+the+basket.
Los Medanos College’s Fatima Talag weaves through the Mendocino defenders and drives toward the basket.

Los Medanos College’s Fatima Talag weaves through the Mendocino defenders and drives toward the basket.

Cathie Lawrence

Cathie Lawrence

Los Medanos College’s Fatima Talag weaves through the Mendocino defenders and drives toward the basket.

Carlos Ruiz, cruiz@lmcexperience.com

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The 2016-17 women’s basketball season has been a rough and tough dusty trail for the Mustangs.

Although their 2-20 overall record put the team in 7th out of 8th place in the Bay Valley Conference, this year’s campaign for the hoopers has gone fairly well compared last season.

When you examine the previous season with the current one, you’ll find that they both shared a winless November and December, yet the comparison stops there as the team of today picked up their first victory Jan. 5 with a smooth sailing score of 78-50 away against The College of Marin. In comparison, the 2015-2016 team was left to forfeit on Jan. 12 through the remainder of the season due to having an insufficient amount of players.

The College of Marin, whose team currently sits at the bottom of the division, is also responsible for handing the Mustangs their only other win on Feb. 1. Although there was a different degree of difficulty to the second contest, they won 62-57 at home where freshman guard from Liberty High School Olivia Sanbria and sophomore guard out of Pittsburg High School Margot Vrana combined for 51 points.

Cathie Lawrence
Margot Vrana sets up for a free throw against Mendocino on Sophomore Night.

“This was a rebuilding season that needed readjustments with the challenge of the team taking last year off,” says sophomore forward Carrie Oliver.

The experienced basketball player has suffered two broken noses and a concussion, but regret and disappointment isn’t what she experienced this season.  She describes her last season as an amusing one and a learning experience with a fantastic group of women.

“I’ve always had fun on and off the court with the team I played with this season and the chemistry we had, I will always take that over better results” said Oliver.

Even though there are more losses than wins this season, there are still some silver linings for the squad of women such as the new batch of nine freshmen. Notable members include all around team player Sanbria, who is ranked 6th in The Bay Valley Conference for points per game with 17.1. In her company also from Liberty High is freshman forward Jayden Tolentino who blocked the ball 21 times this season and rookie forward from Pitt High School Brianna Headly who had 140 rebounds this season.

The freshman players soon to become sophomores are expected to make a huge impact in next year’s campaign. “Expect them to win the league, the new players we had this year and new people coming in next season should have everyone expecting them as Bay Valley champs,” said Vrana

The sophomore Stangs are not to be forgotten in the women’s squad this season. Antioch High’s own Fatima Talag netted 56 assists and former Pittsburg Pirate Vrana rebounded the ball more than 140 times. ” It was a bit frustrating with the overall record but this was my best season and I’ve always had fun with a deep passion playing basketball and it’s good to enjoy it,” Vrana said.

Head coach Richard Villegas had no comment, but according to the LMC women’s basketball website  “his primary objective is to build a strong competitive team using athletes from the local area.” Things could be looking up for the next season of Mustang’s women basketball, as this could be the first step of a bright future for the LMC women’s basketball team.

For more information on the women’s basketball team visit www.losmedanos.edu/basketball/womens.asp

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