Vaqs outrebounded, outmuscled at home

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — It wasn't the kind of home debut Glendale Community College women's basketball Coach Carrie Miller expected.

Miller immediately identified the crux of the Vaqueros' problem following a 62-44 loss to Irvine Valley College on Friday night in an opening-round contest of the Vaquero Shootout.

"Our rebounding hurt us," said Miller, whose team will next compete in a consolation semifinal contest at 3 p.m. today against Palomar College. "It's not that we can't get rebounds, it's that they are not in position to box out and get the rebounds."

Irvine (2-1) enjoyed a significant rebounding advantage en route to turning back Glendale (0-3). Irvine, which will face Antelope Valley in a semifinal game at 7 p.m. today, finished with 52 rebounds, including 20 offensive boards. Glendale collected 24 rebounds, including eight offensive.

The large margin also played right into Irvine's hands. The Lasers finished with 38 second-chance points, leaving Miller frustrated.

"They went out there and capitalized on their second and even third-chance opportunities," said Miller, who received a team-best 13 points from sophomore guard Chelsea Baquiero. "Our defense kept us in the game for the most part, but our offense isn't quite there yet.

"We are still learning the offense. It will come. I'm just not sure when that will be. We just have to come back ready to play and forget about [Friday's game.]"

The Vaqueros, who opened their season with a pair of losses at the Pasadena City College Tournament last week, had two stretches where they went seven minutes without scoring a point.

For instance, the Vaqueros didn't score in a seven-minute stretch in the first half. The Lasers used a 12-0 run in that span to build a 13-3 advantage. The Vaqueros trailed, 27-19, at halftime. Baquiero, a Hoover High graduate, had eight first-half points.

On the bright side for the Vaqueros, freshman guard Michelle Eclar finished with 10 points and a game-high four steals. Eclar, a Glendale Adventist Academy graduate, scored nine second-half points. She also contributed three rebounds, all in the second stanza.

Eclar had a steal and scored on a layup to cut Irvine's lead to 37-26 with 14:10 remaining in the contest.

The other championship semifinal game will pit Fullerton against Chaffey at 5 p.m. The other consolation semifinal contest will be West L.A. against Ventura at 1. The tournament's championship game will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday.

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