After rallying off eight-straight conference victories, the Long Beach City College women's basketball team has been crowned the South Coast Conference (SCC) – South Co-Conference Champions with a 62-49 victory over the EC-Compton Center Tartars on Friday night.
Despite sharing the crown with the El Camino College Warriors, a 9-1 conference mark earns the Vikings their second-consecutive SCC-South title and sixth overall. It is the first time in history that Long Beach has co-captained a conference title.
Freshman guards Janay Wellington (S.D. Paradise Hills, CA) and Tiana Augustus (Long Beach, CA) led the way in the victory over the Tartars this Friday by each flushing 14 points. Wellington's 14-point output was her season-high, while Augustus 14 points was the 14th time in double-digit scoring.
Freshman guard Clarissa Rodriguez (South Gate, CA) chipped in a clutch 12 points from the bench that featured a 4-for-8 shooting mark from beyond the arc.
Long Beach traveled down a challenging road to reach the title by playing with minimal weapons throughout the majority of the season – sometimes not being able to finish a game with five athletes on the court. Overcoming intense adversity was a huge factor in this season's championship run.
The return of sophomore forward Ayerjenee Jeanmard (Long Beach, CA) was the turning point in the season after missing a total of eight games in the middle third of the season. Despite her absence, she came back with vengeance and was a huge factor in the final five conference victories. In those victories, she landed in double-digit scoring four times and recorded her first-career triple double (12 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) in a win over the Cerritos College Falcons. Jeanmard currently ranks fifth in the SCC-South in rebounds-per-game (8) and sixth in points-per-game (13).
Sophomore center Miranda Martinez (Placentia, CA) carried the bulk of the load for the majority of the season and has been a versatile key to the Vikings' success. While starting in all 29 games for Long Beach, Martinez has landed in double-digit scoring 18 times to average 11.9 points-per-game which ranks eighth in the SCC-South. She has been a monster on the boards by earning double-digit rebounds nine times on the year, highlighted by a 17-rebound effort in a win against L.A. Southwest. She ranks second in rebounds-per-game (8.8) in the SCC-South.
The three ball came at a premium for most teams, but the Vikings had a reliable long-range sniper in sophomore guard Vivian Hernandez (Downey, CA). While being ranked second in the SCC-South in three-point shooting percentage (34%), Hernandez has netted a total of 80 three pointers on the year with 32 of them coming in conference action. She can light up the floor at any moment as seen in 13 double-digit scoring games highlighted by a 23-point mark in a 79-22 victory over San Bernardino Valley.
The Vikings will play host to the Antelope Valley College Marauders on Wednesday, February 22nd for the first round of regional playoffs in the Hall of Champions Gymnasium. The Marauders shared a conference title with the L.A. Valley College Monarchs in the Western State-East division. Antelope Valley finished the season with an overall mark of 15-13 that included a 9-1 conference record.
Antyelope Valley earned their playoff sport by finishing off the season on an 8-1 conference run capped off with a 60-36 victory over Glendale. Antelope Valley rely on a trio of players on the offensive front, highlighted by freshman point guard Deja Smith. Smith averages 13.7 points-per-game and has started in 23 contests. She has recorded a season-high 21 points on three separate occasions. Sophomore duo Makaela Manson and Katilin Stephenson back her efforts, as they average in double-digit scoring as well.
The team's biggest win was over LA Valley on January 18th by the final score of 64-58. In that victory, Stephenson recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Smith came off the bench to net 10 points as well.
The game against Antelope Valley will tip off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22nd. Live stats and video will be available free of charge.