Women Advance To Second Place In CVC In Win Over West Hills

Story By: Julease Graham, Reporter

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The Fresno City College women’s basketball team moves to second in the Central Valley Conference after winning its second straight game.

The Rams beat the Golden Eagle of West Hills College, Lemoore, 73-34 on Feb. 1, bringing their season’s record to 20-3.

Both teams lacked tempo and intensity at the start of the game. The Eagle’s lack of defensive pressure left room for the Rams to hesitate on offensive plays, and the Rams struggled to figure out their opponent’s defensive strategy.

Towards the end of the second quarter, FCC began to work harder on defense, holding West Hills at 15 points going into the second half, making the halftime score 34-15.

The Rams came into the second half a better team and scored 25 points in the third quarter. Their Stamina picked up and overall ball movement improved as the guard, Sophomore Heaven Holmes, settled into the game’s rhythm.

“We needed to find our rhythm, we needed to see how they were going to play their offense,” Holmes said. “We were challenged the most inside with our post player. Our biggest obstacle as a team was not rebounding and boxing out; they out rebounded us.”

Throughout the game, West Hills continued to challenge the Rams inside and under the basket. FCC continued to struggle with driving and rebounding.

Sophomore guard, Taylor Martin, and sophomore forward, Julia Locastro, continued to work the middle on offense, resulting in 30 combined points.

“West Hills definitely challenged us the most on the glass. They have athletic post who can rebound and block shots,” said Martin. “Our team’s strength is definitely our ability to out-hustle and control the tempo of the game through our full-court press.”

The Rams’ strong defensive press was a huge factor in their 39-point lead, but hesitation on offensive plays contributed to this game’s low shooting average of 40.3 percent.

“It’s just confidence that we lack; we work on threes a lot, but it’s just knowing that we can actually make that three,” said freshman guard Mikayla Mabie. “Our coach always tells us to shoot, but it’s just that mindset.”

In the final quarter, the Rams did not lose momentum. Head coach Brian Tessler said endurance is his team’s best strength and that it was this that allowed them to outplay West Hills for the remainder of the game, wrapping up the second half with 39 points.

“Our strengths, because we are down to nine with our injuries, is probably our stamina. I think they go hard; that’s our best strength,” Tessler said. “We played hard, and we did what we needed to do.”

There are four games remaining in the season. The next and final home game will be against Reedley college on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m.