Cerritos defeats Santa Barbara, 72-71

Rick Gomez

The Falcons were given a second chance as they hosted the Vaqueros for the first round of the playoffs and avenged their loss with a 72-71 come-from-behind win Wednesday night thanks to guard Maleta Daughtery’s game high 23 points.

Head coach Karen Weliver and the Cerritos College women’s basketball team lost to what Welliver said was “a really good team” in Santa Barbara City, 72-58, earlier this season.

Although shooting only six for 11 from the line, Daughtery made the most important one to give the Falcons the lead with three seconds remaining.

Daughtery gave Cerritos the lead with 9.6 seconds left but Santa Barbara responded with a lay-up to tie the game.

The following inbound pass was given the Daughtery who drove down court and caused a foul for the game winner.

“I always want the ball at the end of the game,” Daughtery said.

The Falcons started the first half strong with consecutive three-pointers and two steals in a row, leading to easy baskets from Daughtery.

The momentum suddenly changed and the Falcons composure seemed to slip away.

“It was all about composure. If you don’t have composure, you lose,” Daughtery added.

The Falcons’ 33-24 lead was erased when the Vaqueros went on a 16-0 run, entering the half with a 40-33 lead.

“Runs happen sometimes,” Welliver said. “Teams in the playoffs will never go away.”

In the second half, Cerritos was trailing as much as 11 but began to inch closer to the deficit until forward Rachel Butler tied it with a little over four minutes to go.

In the final two minutes, the Falcons shut down the Vaqueros limiting Santa Barbara City to only one basket the rest of the game.

“I’m so proud of how our team overcame adversity,” Welliver said. “Win or lose, I told the team I would be proud of it.”