Women’s basketball team unfazed by slow start to season

Terrel Emerson

Six games into the 2016-17 season, the Cerritos College women’s basketball team has gotten off to a slow 1-5 start.

Furthermore, the team has added to its early season struggles as Cerritos continues to turn the ball over at a high rate.

Head coach Trisha Raniewicz said, “I think having better angles and sharper passes will help decrease our turnovers per game.”

At this point last season the Falcons had compiled 80 turnovers. This season’s team is already 25 more turnovers ahead of last year’s club.

Freshman guard Angie Ferreira doesn’t seemed to bothered with the negative statistic. In fact, she is very optimistic for the future.

“It’s still preseason so we’re trying to create chemistry and find our flow [to] the game. Our last couple of games have been a little shaky but I have no doubt that by season time those turnovers are going to go down dramatically,” she said.

Cerritos’ next chance to gain its second win of the year is Friday, Dec. 2 at the 40th Annual Gilcrest Tournament at College of the Sequoias.

Ferreira has had her fair share of trouble holding onto the ball herself and she understands that if the team wants to get better offensively it starts with her.

“As a point guard, I think I need to slow myself down and make the smart decision instead of going for the home run play,” Ferreira admitted.

Being a freshman Ferreira can already tell the difference between high school basketball and college basketball.

“The most difficult part is adjusting to the speed of the game and being able to play both sides of the ball, defensively and offensively,” she said.

Despite her struggles Raniewicz has felt Ferreira has been doing the most important thing; improving.

“Overall, I feel [Ferreira] has gotten better every single game. She is a competitive player and we will work together to decrease unforced turnovers as the season progresses,” Raniewicz said.

Ferreira averages 5.0 turnovers a game to just 4.8 assists per game.

To add salt to the wounds, Ferreira is struggling shooting the ball as well. She is averaging 5.8 points per game while shooting 17 percent from the field and only four percent from three-point range.

Raniewicz said, “[Ferreira] is a great shooter and I believe her shots will fall. The [coaching] staff and her teammates believe in her ability in all facets of the game.”

It hasn’t all been on Ferreira, the team as a whole has been struggling shooting the ball from the field. The team is shooting 33 percent from the field.

Raniewicz insisted the team is taking the right shots, they’re just not falling.

In addition, the team has jacked up 131 three-pointers in the first six games of the season, the most in the last four seasons. Furthermore, the team is only making 24 percent of them.

Raniewicz said, “I do not think we are living and dying by the three-ball. We have to continue to attack off the dribble and get to the free throw line, where we are shooting almost 70 percent as a team.”

One of the few bright spots for the team has been the play of lone sophomore guard Kaylyn James.

It didn’t take long for her either as she scored 31 points in the team’s season opener at Riverside. That was the most points scored by a women’s Falcon player since Marissa Rendon in November of 2012.

To accompany James, freshman forward Esther Franks has provided a scoring punch for the Falcons as well.

Raniewicz said, “[James] and [Franks] are playing well and like everyone on the team, [they] are working to improve different areas of their game. I think both players are versatile and can score in a variety of ways in addition to contributing in rebounding.”

James and Franks are averaging a combined 37.2 points per game. The next highest individual on the team is freshman forward Crystal Rodriguez with 7.2 points per game.