The Orange Coast College women’s basketball team will honor the 2003 state-championship team prior to Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. game against El Camino.
Several players will be on hand for the event as the Pirates honor the 10th anniversary of their only women’s basketball state championship in school history.
That 2002-03 team went 31-6 and pulled off several upsets along the way to claim the state title. After finishing second in the Orange Empire Conference, OCC earned a No. 4 seed and opened postseason play with a 55-47 win over Cerritos. Alisa Carrillo led the way with 19 points and five rebounds.
In the regional finals, OCC took on 31-2 Compton and topped the Tartars, 51-49, on a pair of Carrillo free throws and a crucial last-second rebound by Lauren Murray, sending the Pirates to State Tournament.
There, OCC topped Merced, 63-53, setting up a huge showdown with No. 1 team in the state, Ventura College, in the state semifinals.
The Ventura Pirates, two-time defending state champions, knew the OCC Pirates were for real after suffering a home loss during their Thanksgiving tournament.
In what coach Mike Thornton called at the time, “the biggest win in OCC history,” OCC topped Ventura, 59-57, and advanced to the championship game against Contra Costa.
In the title game, guard Nancy Hatsushi — a recent inductee to the OCC Athletics Hall of Fame and a former Costa Mesa High standout — hit five three-pointers en route to 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, leading the Pirates past Contra Costa, 69-61, for the state title. Hatsushi was named State Tournament MVP after averaging 15.3 points, four rebounds and four assists per game.
OCC’s final four wins of the season came against four 30-win teams.
The 2002-03 Pirates
Kirsten Von Tungeln
— OCC Athletics