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Women's college basketball: Stretched thin

State’s top-ranked team pulls away from No. 16 COC

Posted: December 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

College of Canyons guard Amanda Ajdari (5) reaches out while going up for a layup in front of multiple Ventura College defenders on Wednesday night at COC.

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The College of the Canyons women’s basketball team played neck-and-neck with the state’s top-ranked team, Ventura College, for 37 of the game’s 40 minutes.

But a three-minute stretch midway through the second half saw Ventura put together a 12-point run to open up the game and lead the Pirates to a 68-58 victory on Wednesday night at College of the Canyons.

The Cougars (8-6) took a 46-45 lead with 9:34 remaining in the second half — the 10th lead change of the game — on a basket by Angelica Sahagun.

And then COC went cold.

The California Community College Athletic Association No. 1-ranked Pirates (14-1) went on a run that pushed their lead to 57-46 — the final lead change of the game.

“You take away that three-minute span and we would have had a chance to win it,” said COC head coach Greg Herrick.

The Cougars, ranked 16th in the state, shot just 29.4 percent in the second half and 35.3 percent overall
Outside of the run, Canyons stayed with the Pirates, pulling within two points at halftime, 33-31.

Ventura’s Destinee LaFountain led the Pirates early in the game, scoring 10 quick points in the first 10 minutes before Canyons made adjustments and held her scoreless until 16 minutes left in the second half.

She would finish with a team-high 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

The Pirates’ Rebecca Griffin and Hanna Burge each scored 17 points.

“You’ve got a lot of young kids on this team,” Herrick said. “(Ventura) took advantage of it when we didn’t have the matchups. We’ll fight for another day.”

For Canyons, which was coming off a 79-72 overtime loss to Saddleback College in the championship game of the Orange Coast Classic on Sunday night, the game showed it can hang with the state’s top teams.

“Canyons is pretty good. They’re much better than their record.” said Ventura head coach Ned Mircetic. “That’s where we were last year. If they cross it this year they’ll be tough in the playoffs.”

Amanda Ajdari led Canyons with 20 points, while Bev Weaver scored 18 points and Sahagun scored 12. Jazzmyn Davis led with 10 rebounds and added six points.

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