Falcons tested early but fight off Warriors

Allyson+O%27Brien+%28%2320%29+catches+Elise+Allison+%28%2324%29+of+El+Camino+flat-footed+and+blows+right+by+her+to+the+rack.+O%27Brien+led+the+Lady+Falcons+with+18+points%2C+13+of+them+coming+in+the+second+half.+Photo+credit%3A+Taylor+Ogata

Taylor Ogata

Allyson O’Brien (#20) catches Elise Allison (#24) of El Camino flat-footed and blows right by her to the rack. O’Brien led the Lady Falcons with 18 points, 13 of them coming in the second half. Photo credit: Taylor Ogata

Terrel Emerson

Its not often that a team gets a win via forfeit but that’s exactly what happened to the Falcons Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Yet, Cerritos was able to defeat El Camino by a final score of 72-53.

LA Southwest was forced to forfeit the game to Cerritos because it did not have enough eligible players.

It looked as if the team was a little rusty after a week without a game. Freshman guard/forward Allyson O’Brien saw it as well.

“We [weren’t] in game shape and I think the first half it really showed,” she said.

O’Brien did not let the slow first half start rattle her as she scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half.

“The talk at halftime really pumps us up. We know that if we work hard the person next to us is working twice as hard,” she added.

Heading into halftime Cerritos was clinging onto a narrow three-point lead that was until the defensive pressure was turned on.

Head coach Trish Raniewicz felt that ultimately was the difference for the team.

“We want to stay aggressive, we want to attack when we get steals. I thought Ally [Allyson O’Brien] and Clarissa [Hernandez] did a good job attacking,” Raniewicz said.

Along with O’Brien, sophomore guard Clarissa Hernandez was the emotional leader of the team during the game.

“Just battling. I think she’s a floor general, I think anytime you have [that in] a point guard that is an extension of the coach,” Raniewicz said.

An injured hip has bothered Hernandez however; no one seemed to benefit more from the forfeit win than her.

She took the forfeit game as a day to rest up as she sat out of practice and she now vows that she is better.

Midway through the third quarter she nailed a three-pointer and just glared over at the bench.

“As soon as it went in, I knew it was over. I knew I was having a pretty good game I was feeling myself,” Hernandez admitted.

Hernandez finished with 16 points with four three-pointers and seven assists.

There was a time in the fourth quarter where El Camino trimmed the deficit to three; from that point on sophomore forward Ashley Flores took the grand stage.

Flores scored eight consecutive points and capped off the victory with a half-court assist to O’Brien for the decisive layup.

“I thought as a team we picked up our intensity. In the first half we didn’t have that much energy as we did in the second,” Flores said.

With the three aforementioned players and Miranda Valentin’s 10 points, 60 of the Cerritos 72 points came from those four players.

Before the names were given to Raniewicz, she could name the four players herself.

“At this time of the year you kind of know who you’re going to get your points from and that’s okay,” she said.

She also added that she could get points from sophomore guard Kennedi Cooper who has a foot bruise.

However, it does not seem to be an issue for the team.

“We’re all capable of scoring that many points. Sometimes it does come down to certain players to do that but it comes down to whose willing to work hard enough,” Flores said.