The women’s basketball teams at Fullerton and Golden West colleges have reached the eight-team state tournament for the second consecutive year. But this year, the roles of the two teams have been reversed.
A year ago, Fullerton took a talented but inexperienced team into the state tournament. The Hornets, who started five freshmen, were defeated in the first round by Santa Rosa, the eventual state champion.
Golden West came into the same tournament as the favorite with four sophomore starters but was upset in the semifinals by Long Beach.
This season Fullerton starts the same five players, and the Hornets are the top-seeded team from the south.
Golden West is the inexperienced team this time.
“Experience, it’s the difference,” Fullerton forward Kelli Johnson said. “You can feel it on the court. Last year, we were excited to just get to the tournament. This season, we know what it takes to get the job done. I hope we end this season winning.”
Fullerton (26-1) plays Conta Costa (28-8) in the first round at 8 p.m. Thursday at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys.
American River (26-4) plays Los Angeles Trade Tech (28-1) at 2 p.m., Golden West (14-16) plays College of the Sequoias (33-3) at 4 p.m. and San Mateo (29-1) plays Los Angeles Valley College (29-3) at 6 p.m. All first-round games are at L.A. Valley College.
The semifinal games are Friday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the championship game is Saturday at 8 p.m. at L.A. Valley College.
“We come in with a little more confidence and should be able to handle the pressure better this time,” Fullerton Coach Colleen Riley said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s a one-game season now, followed by another and another one, hopefully.”
Johnson leads Fullerton’s balanced attack with 13 points and seven rebounds a game. She was 19 of 25 from the field and averaged 20 points in Fullerton’s two playoff games. Forward Viv Perez is averaging 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds.
In the backcourt, Lisa Crosskey is averaging 12.9 points, Steffi Strauss 10 points and 5.8 assists and Debbie Wagner 10.5 rebounds and five steals a game.
Golden West is led by forward Dee Dee Steigar, who is averaging 13.6 points a game. Kim Wilson is averaging 12.3 points and Donna Gondringer 11.1. Claudette Jackson leads the team with 10.6 rebounds and Deanne Cox averages 6.1 assists a game.
Marcial Beltran of Fullerton set the national community and junior college marathon record Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.
Beltran, competing in 39-degree weather that included wind and rain, ran 2 hours 17 minutes n26 seconds to better the time of 2:17:44 set by Kirk Pfeffer of Grossmont in 1975.
Beltran, a sophomore at Fullerton, ran cross-country the past two seasons, and is running the 5,000 meters for the Fullerton track team this spring.
The Cypress softball team hit eight home runs in five games while winning its tournament over the weekend.
Rose Ferrante hit a pair of two-run home runs in the second inning as Cypress scored 12 runs en route to a 22-2 victory over San Diego City Saturday. Alisha Bokano hit a grand slam--also in the second inning--against San Diego City.
Bokano is hitting .463 (19 for 41), Val Sucatre is hitting .357 (10 for 28) and Ferrante is hitting .375 (15 of 40) with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
Community College Notes
Vince Hizon of Cypress made 27 free throws in a row this season to set a school record. Hizon broke the mark of 26 set earlier this season by Ian Donnelly. . . . Dareck Crane ended his two-year basketball career at OCC with 992 points, third best on the all-time list. . . . Markus Muller-Stach scored 1,275 points at Golden West in his career to finish second on the all-time list. Elbert Davis, Golden West point guard, has a school single-season record 290 assists this season and had a school career record of 485 assists. . . . Pitcher David Tellers of San Jose State picked up two more victories last week to improve to 7-0 this season. Tellers played at Rancho Santiago the last two seasons. . . . Fullerton forward Mike Goff was two of 11 from the field and scored only four points as the Hornets lost to Pasadena, 80-78, Saturday in a first-round playoff game. Goff came into the game leading the team with a 15.5-point average.