Los Angeles Valley College defeated Fullerton, 70-69, Friday night in a semifinal game of the state community college women’s basketball tournament at Los Angeles Valley College.
Fullerton (27-2), which was ranked No. 1 in the state, had its winning streak stopped at 19 games.
“I think we lost it in the first 8 minutes of the second half,” Fullerton Coach Colleen Riley said. “We went cold.”
Fullerton’s fortunes can best be demonstrated by the fortunes of its sophomore guard, Debbie Wagner.
In the first half, Wagner hit five of six three-point shots to lead Fullerton to a 39-33 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Wagner managed only a free throw and missed all five of her field goal attempts.
Fullerton’s Kelli Johnson, the Orange Empire Conference player of the year, scored 14 second-half points to keep Fullerton in the game, but she received little support.
L.A. Valley, which got hot the same time Fullerton turned cold, scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 41-39 lead.
Ruth Aguilar, who scored the first four points of the half on strong spin moves inside the key, scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
L.A. Valley’s Christine Rumfola had a game-high 22 points, and Sandrine Rocher added 20.
“We weathered the storm in the second half,” L.A. Valley Coach Doug Michelson said. “We were satisfied to be down only by six at the half with how poorly we played.”
Although Lisa Crosskey’s pair of free throws for Fullerton with no time left on the clock accounted for the final score, L.A. Valley had the game--or at least a tie--in hand with 32 seconds left.
Shagarro Lattin’s layup gave the Monarchs a three-point lead with 32 seconds remaining, and L.A. Valley’s defense never allowed Fullerton to get off a good closing shot. Heidi Shikuma missed a hurried three-pointer and Crosskey was fouled on her three-point attempt.
In the other semifinal, American River College defeated the College of the Sequoias, 53-51.