Women’s basketball splits home stand

Luke Johnson

Last week the women’s basketball team of Los Medanos College broke even in their home stand going 1-1. They came up short 61-43 to the Contra Costa College Comets in game one last Wednesday, but succeeded the Yuba College 49ers 52-61 in game two the following Friday.

The Mustangs only had seven active players for both meetings, and the empty bench was too much to overcome in game one’s loss to their conference rival.

LMC kept it close until Center Myeshia Ward fouled out early in the second half, leaving the team without a true player at that position.

“They played hard, but when number 22 (Myeshia Ward) fouled out that was the turning point of the game,” said CCC Head Coach Paul DeBolt.

Ward has been the anchor of LMC’s defense all season. She ranks first in blocks and eighth in rebounds among all community colleges in California. In limited minutes, she finished with six blocks and nine rebounds respectively.

In game two Ward helped the Mustangs dominate at the basket by out-rebounding the 49ers 54-30, and finished with 18 boards of her own. Ward also racked up 25 points and eight blocks in last Friday’s win.

“We didn’t have an answer for their dominant post player number 22,” said Yuba Head Coach Steve Spain. “I thought the game could have been officiated a little bit better tonight, but it is what it is. LMC played well, 22 did a great job and dominated the paint.”

Despite being -7 in turnovers, LMC’s 45.5 percent shooting from the field guided the team to victory. The 49ers only shot 32.4 percent with nearly a third of their field goal attempts coming from behind the three-point arc. 21 out of 22 of those attempts came from only two players, guards Natalya Stepanchuk and Chloe Pereiro.

LMC point guard Janessa Vreonis, the shared conference leader in assists, got the crowd going with her finesse passing and tallied up eight more assists last Friday.

In the opening minutes, the game teeter-tottered back and forth with eight lead changes occurring in the first half. But LMC caught fire in the final 4:30 and went on a 13-2 run making the score 27-37 at halftime.

The Stangs kept rolling in the second half and, at one point, extended their lead to 15 points. The 49ers were able to swing the momentum in the final minutes of regulation and shortened the deficit to 51-59. But it was too little, too late as there was not enough time left with a little over a minute to go.

“We really pulled through in the last five minutes,” said Yuba point guard Kylie Nore. “And if we would have had five more, we would have stuck it to them.”

After both games ended, Mustang Head Coach Richard Villegas refused the Experience’s request for comment on the game, as did his players as he requested.