Last minute change has Falcons in playoffs, Palomar College is out


Sophomore forward Nia Lateju battles inside the paint, attempting to score against Long Beach City College in a Feb. 14 match. She is the leading scorer of the women’s team with 310 points.Photo credit: Denny Cristales

In a sudden turn of events, Cerritos College women’s basketball team will have a fighting chance in the Southern California Conference playoffs.

The Falcons were just about to hang up the towel for the spring season, until a revision of RPI, a rating index for teams, caused the conference to look into the call and change the outcome.

Athletic director Dan Clauss said the error arose because the committee that organizes the seedings did not know to treat teams as separate conferences or do a whole new conference and rank them.

“It didn’t clearly state in the bylaws,” Clauss said. “There was some confusion, when (it) seeded (it) left Cerritos College out.”

The school then asked for an official protest last Monday to have the seedings reviewed.

“We felt that there were a couple bylaws broken in the way they seeded it,” Clauss said.

Further review last Tuesday had the committee reseed the teams, leaving Palomar College out.

“The team that was left out, Palomar College, is obviously very upset,” he said.

According to Clauss, Palomar is sending out e-mails to the state regarding the decision.

“Numbers were not quite calculated correctly,” head coach Karen Welliver said.

Tactically, Welliver said the team will not change much, as past games have been played back-to-back leading to her belief that her players can handle the sudden shift.

Cerritos College will take its second chance and face the No. 1 seed Ventura College on Saturday at 7 p.m.