Mustangs dominate Eagles

Forward+Jayden+Tolentino+jumps+up+to+secure+the+rebound+in+a+decisive+game+as+the+Mustangs+push+toward+the+playoffs.

Cathie Lawrence

Forward Jayden Tolentino jumps up to secure the rebound in a decisive game as the Mustangs push toward the playoffs.

Jonathan Little, jlittle@lmcexperience.com

The Los Medanos College Mustangs defeated the Laney College Eagles 73-44 in their final season game at home Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Valentine’s Day game against Laney had playoff implications, and tensions were high throughout the match-up.

     In the first quarter, the Stangs and Eagles were neck-and-neck trading shot-for-shot on each offensive transition. But late in the first quarter, Los Medanos defense took over as they lead 17-14 with just under a minute left.

     With the clock running down in the first quarter, guard Elsa Ross hit a buzzer beating 3-point shot to end the quarter with a bang and gave the Stangs a 20-14 lead going into the second quarter.

The Mustangs came out at the beginning of the second quarter with their shutdown defense once again. Jayden Tolentino hit a three to continue the momentum the Stangs started in the first quarter. As the quarter went on, both team’s defense controlled the game as they went back and forth turning over the ball and not getting to the basket.

     Toward the end of the second quarter, Laney College was able to grab their first lead (28-27) in the game. That lead was short lived as the Stangs guard Chrysta Ray took control and drew a foul to tie the game at 29-29. As the back and forth battle went on, the first half ended in a nail-biting 32-32 tie.

     “At halftime we talked about stops and just being patient on offense because in the first half we didn’t do so well but when we were moving the ball around we were really effective,” said Head Coach Richard Villegas.

     At the beginning of the second half it seemed the talk gave the Stangs the energy they needed as they forced a turnover on Laney early to jump out to a 34-32 lead.

     As the third quarter progressed it became more apparent that the Mustangs were going to take control of the game and put the game away early. It was a team effort as players Ray, Ross, and Buggs kept on scoring on offensive transitions, defensive stops and forced turnovers by LMC to give them a 55-45 lead going into the fourth quarter.

     The final quarter was more of the same for the Stangs as the LMC offense kept running over the Laney defense and the LMC defense was a brick wall every time the Eagles tried to go on offense. The Mustangs took the win with a score of 73-44, with Ray, Ross, and Buggs combined for 50 points contributing to the Stangs 29 point victory.

   The Stangs put in a strong performance to show why they belong in the post-season, and Ray was optimistic about their chances of making playoffs, “After having a tough season last year, and having such an improvement from two wins to 19 wins, and I think that will give us a chance.” Villegas agreed and reiterated the same sentiments, “We went 19-8 overall, and 13-3 in conference, and hopefully that’s enough to get us into playoffs.”

     And their hopes were heard as the Stangs were selected to be a part of California Community College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship playoffs as the number 18-seed, and their post-season began with a match up against the 15-seed Merrit College Wednesday, Feb. 21.

     For more information on Los Medanos college women’s basketball visit http://www.losmedanos.edu/basketball/list/womens.asp.