Golden West College, playing without its top player, won the Fullerton women’s basketball tournament Sunday because of some horrible work at the free-throw line by College of the Sequoias.
The Rustlers came away with a 71-68 victory, and Sequoias got a four-hour bus ride home to Visalia to ponder a game in which the Lady Giants made only six of 29 free throws.
Golden West (18-1) had its own handicap with Bits Sirchia, an all-state guard last season, sidelined with a twisted right ankle.
But Tracy Wolfe, Allison Bickel and Jennifer Harney made the key plays in the final minute to secure the victory. Wolfe stole a pass with 46 seconds remaining and made a layup with 30 seconds left to give Golden West a 69-68 lead.
Sequoias’ Shaulonda Rittenhouse then missed a shot with 12 seconds to play. A scramble involving several players followed, then Golden West gained possession after a jump ball was called with 10 seconds left.
But the Rustlers turned the ball over when they failed to get it inbounds in the allowed five seconds. Sequoias (15-4) then inbounded the ball to Lataria Andrews, who was fouled while shooting with eight seconds left.
Andrews missed both free throws, and Harney got the rebound and was fouled with five seconds left. She missed her free throw, but Bickel got the rebound and made the layup for Golden West with two seconds left.
Sequoias failed to get the ball to half-court before time ran out. Harney, the tournament’s most valuable player, led Golden West with 24 points, 20 in the second half. Bickel added 13.
In the third-place game:
Fullerton 80, Los Angles Valley 57--Hollie Keeton scored 17 points, 13 in the second half for Fullerton (14-3). Nicki Durity added 16 and Vicki Evans and Keri Erkenbrack each had 13 for Fullerton, which led at the half, 41-33.