Falcons’ women’s basketball fall short of a win against Long Beach City College

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TM Carlos Ruiz

Sophomore forward No. 15 Alexis Clark takes the contested shot from the paint. Clark finished with 13 points.

Carlos Ruiz

The Cerritos College women’s basketball team lost its last match of the season against Long Beach City College 69-73.

Losing this game meant that the Falcons ended the conference tied for second place with Long Beach City College.

Along with tying for second place, the team finished 17-13 in the regular season overall.

This game had balanced back and forth scores throughout each quarter.

The game’s first half ended with the score of 33-32 with LBCC leading by a single digit going into the second half.

The second half of the game came to a conclusion, adding 37-40 on the score board. Ultimately resulting in LBCC, winning the game by four points.

Head coach Trisha Kozlowski talked about the team’s overall performance, “I am so proud of our effort and I am so proud of how we responded in the second half.

“–I think we’re in, we’re a playoff team and I think we showed tonight that we’re gonna battle in the [playoff] season. Everyone is zero-zero in the playoffs.”

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Freshman guard No. 24 Serena Rendon sitting up after bad fall. Rendon sat out the rest of the game. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Unfortunately, before the halftime break freshman guard No. 24 Serena Rendon suffered an injury and sat out the rest of the game.

“Serena is a really important player to us on both ends of the floor and we had people step up and so that shows me depth of our bench will be there next week [in the playoffs],” said Kozlowski

Kozlowski explained her talks in the locker room, “Just a lot of love in our locker room. I’ve really enjoyed coaching this team. I really appreciate all their hard work and effort.”

She expanded on her statements, saying, “When you have a team that works hard and as a coach you don’t have to guess ‘are we gonna play hard today’ you’re gonna be in any game.

“That’s been a staple of us, we come and play hard and I just told them I appreciated that.”

Kozlowski concluded with, “I think when the going gets tough we’ve got to go back to our defensive principles. I thought our help side was a bit off.

“That mental aspect, just having it click in, ‘we need a stop right here!’ I think that would’ve been huge for us today,” Kozlowski said.

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Freshman forward/center No. 33 Miranda Ta'amu goes up for the two-point shot. Ta'amu had eight points and six rebounds. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Freshman forward/center No. 33 Miranda Ta’amu reflected on her individual performance saying, “I feel like I did good, but could’ve done better on both the offensive and defensive side.

“Especially with Serena getting hurt, I feel like I should’ve helped pick up the slack a little more.”

Ta’amu thought that the main aspect on why the Falcons lost was because of the lack of communication on the floor.

“We let a lot of Long Beach’s girls score easy baskets that could’ve been prevented if we would’ve talked. I think we needed leadership out on the court to sort of rally the team together and basically keep us composed.

“We started playing at their tempo instead of ours which is why our communication was nonexistent in the last half,” said Ta’amu.

With the playoffs just a week away Ta’amu shares, “Our main focus is to work hard. There’s a saying ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,’ and the team believes that.

“We don’t have the tallest posts or quickest guards, but we hold our own by working hard.”

Ta’amu finished the game with eight points, six rebounds and two assists.

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Freshman guard No. 24 Serena Rendon dribbling down into the paint. Rendon scored eight points in one half. Photo credit: Carlos Ruiz

Serena Rendon had her game cut short due to injury, but shared her thoughts on the team’s overall performance.

“The loss really came down to possessions. We were working hard, but so were they. We’d come down and score, they would too.

“One thing we still need to work on is transition defense and communication,” said Rendon.

Rendon believes the main focus going to playoffs is, “To communicate, play together and stick together just like my assistant coach says and defense.”

Rendon finished with eight points and two rebounds–playing in only the first half.

The regular season has come to an end and the team is awaiting the first round of playoffs.

Ta’amu described the season as a “roller coaster.”

“Every team goes through struggles that can either make or break them and we had enough fight in us to not let it break us. I’m extremely proud of my team for that,” said Ta’amu.

Rendon described the season as “successful.”

“17-13 isn’t bad, there were games we should’ve won, but it still isn’t a bad record. It was just a really good season, my team works hard in practice and in games.”

Rendon continued, “I’ve seen so much improvement in all my teammates, including myself. This is honestly one of the best seasons I’ve ever had.

I never knew I can do what I did for this team this season. I want to thank my team and coaches for this amazing season,” said Rendon.

The Cerritos College women’s basketball team has its first South California Regional Playoffs match away at Antelope Valley on Feb. 21.