Glendale Community College women’s basketball continues its struggles

Glendale Community College's Janel Andraneda drives to the basket to shoot against Santa Monica City College's Mammusu Secka and Roberta Hays in a women's basketball game at GCC on Wednesday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

Glendale Community College’s Janel Andraneda drives to the basket to shoot against Santa Monica City College’s Mammusu Secka and Roberta Hays in a women’s basketball game at GCC on Wednesday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

A slow start by the Glendale Community College women’s basketball team was ultimately too much to overcome, as it dropped its sixth consecutive game.

The short-handed Vaqueros, who are dealing with injuries to key players, gave up the first 15 points of Wednesday evening’s tilt with visiting Santa Monica College and would trail by double-digits thereafter in a 80-58 Western State Conference South Division defeat.

Glendale, playing without Paulina Glaviano (concussion) and Katia Dabbaghian (stress fracture), struggled on both ends, beginning with a dismal first quarter in which it did not score until the 5:00 mark and faced a 27-8 deficit after 10 minutes.

Santa Monica cruised thereafter, although Glendale did play them fairly evenly, outscored by just three points over the subsequent three quarters.

“Not ready to play,” Vaqueros Coach Carrie Miller said when asked to attribute the opening minutes of the game.

With the loss, Glendale dropped to 3-15 overall on the season and remained winless in conference at 0-5, while allowing Santa Monica to collect its first conference victory.

Despite staying with the Corsairs after the 15-0 start, Glendale couldn’t muster an extended scoring run to trim the deficit nor could it garner any momentum to turn the game around and get the home crowd involved, partly due to 29.3% shooting from the field for the game.

“There’s a lack of confidence, that’s our biggest thing right now,” she said. “It’s been a struggle all season getting them to believe in themselves.”

Defensively, the Vaqueros allowed the Corsairs (5-14, 1-4) to shoot 46.3% from the field, including seven three-pointers. Katya Echavez, Oshaela Gray and Roberta Hays all scored in double figures for Santa Monica, with Echavez leading all scorers with 19.

Deanna Gordillo scored 11 points for the Vaqueros, with Luna Panosian adding 10 — eight from the charity stripe in the second half. The Hoover High product added four steals.

But creating contact, getting second-chance opportunities and other positives necessary to make up for Glaviano’s and Dabbaghian’s absence weren’t quite there from the get-go. Glendale had its most efficient quarter on offense in the second, hitting seven of 16 shots in the up-hill battle to get back into the game.

The Vaqueros, however, didn’t get their points in bunches and were stripped of the three-pointer, making only two and both came in the final minute of the game. Gordillo hit both threes from the right corner, the second of which came shortly before the final buzzer.

In the fourth quarter the deficit increased to 30 before Glendale finished the game nicely with a 16-8 run.

“We’re not a team that can just turn it on,” Miller said. “We need to play 40 minutes — 40 minutes of confidence.”

As for when she’ll get her starters back, Miller isn’t overly optimistic.

“I would love to have them back,” she said. “But it’s not looking good.”

The Vaqueros will look to put an end to the losing streak Saturday afternoon at Citrus College.