Grossmont College Coach Randy Robinson pleaded with his Lady Griffins to get downcourt and stop the Valley College offense.
A formidable task indeed, considering the quickness and strength of the Lady Monarchs, who are ranked fifth in the state.
Despite Robinson's urging, Valley powered to an impressive 90-70 victory over Grossmont of El Cajon in the opening round of the junior college state regionals Wednesday night at Valley.
Tisa Rush, a freshman guard from Kennedy High, led the way for Valley (28-3) with 21 points.
Rush had a frustrating first half, connecting on only two of eight shots from the field, but she warmed to the task in the second half after Coach Doug Michelson told her to keep shooting even though the shots weren't falling.
Rush's performance drew mock hatred from Robinson.
Robinson walked up to Rush after the game and told her, "I hate you, Tisa," who had a confused look on her face.
"I really hate you. You killed us and I hate the way you played," he said. "Really I hated the way you played because you destroyed us, but I want you to know you did a great job," Robinson continued with a smile and a big hug for Rush.
"I was nervous in the first half but I settled down and concentrated later on," Rush said. "I feel confident now because everybody did a good job."
The Monarchs, besides Rush, were just too much for the Griffins, second-place finishers in the Pacific Coast Conference.
Valley had five scorers in double figures, and a strong bench contributed 24 points to make things easy for the Western State Conference Southern Division champions.
"There is not a drop-off when we put in our substitutes," Michelson said. "We plan on going 10 deep in every game and it really makes us strong."
In contrast, the bench of Grossmont (17-11) produced only five points. Guard Karen Boisvert was the team's only offensive weapon, but a good one, scoring a game-high 34 points.
Christine Rumfola scored 16 points, Shaggaro Lattin added 15 and Sandrine Rocher came off the bench to score 13 for Valley. Ruth Aguilar had a game-high 11 rebounds.
"It was very satisfying to see our balanced scoring tonight," Michelson said.
Valley forced 20 Grossmont turnovers and outrebounded the Griffins, 48-36.