W. Basketball: Team reaches consolation championship game

File Photo: Jessica Gomez scored 20 points in the consolation championship game
File Photo: Jessica Gomez scored 20 points in the consolation championship game

Playing in one of the largest tournaments in the state, the Cerritos College women's basketball team split their four games over the weekend at the College of the Sequoias Tournament. The Falcons (9-4) opened with a tough 74-71 loss to San Joaquin Delta College and followed that with wins over both Santa Rosa Junior College (66-63) and Mission College (61-52). That put them in the consolation championship game, where they fell to Riverside City College, 77-71. Next for Cerritos is the Coast Christmas Classic, as the team will open against Ventura College at 5:00 p.m. on December 18.

Cerritos vs. San Joaquin Delta: Lost in the defeat against the Mustangs was the 31-point performance from freshman Serena Rendon (Carson HS), which included seven three-pointers. The Falcons led by five (45-40) with 6:26 left in the third quarter. Even though it took them over four minutes to score their next basket, it was a three-pointer by Rendon, which put the team up, 48-42. And when the lead swelled to 59-47 with 8:57 left in the game, it looked as if Cerritos was in control of the game. However, Delta fought their way back in and tied the contest at 66-66 with 1:32 remaining, while a Falcon turnover led to a layup and their first deficit of the game. Rendon drained a three-pointer to make it a 71-71 game with :13 seconds left, until Delta's Donwanae Anthony converted a layup with :07 seconds left. Cerritos turned the ball over on their next possession and the Mustangs converted their free throws to earn the win. Cerritos also received 12 points and five rebounds from freshman Jessica Gomez (Legacy HS) and 11 points, four rebounds and four assists by sophomore Angie Ferreira (Long Beach Millikan HS).

Cerritos vs. Santa Rosa: In the consolation round, the Falcons saw four of their five starters score in double figures, led by Ferriera's 16 points and four three-pointers. Trailing the entre first half, Cerritos finally took the lead on a Carolina Cuevas (Legacy HS) layup with 4:02 left in the third quarter for a 43-42 advantage. The Bear Cubs went on a 9-3 run to take a 51-46 lead, but the Falcons received a three-pointer from freshman Gillian Yamasaki (South Torrance HS) with :23 seconds left in the quarter. Gomez made it a 53-53 game with 7:27 left in the game, and although they didn't score again until a Miranda Ta'amu (Los Alamitos HS) jumper with 3:08 left, the game remained tied. After Santa Rosa's Kylie Oden netted a pair of free throws to tie the game at 63-63, freshman Jesenia Rendon (Carson HS) saved the best for last, as she hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. It was her only trey of the game. Sophomore Alexis Clark (Mayfair HS) provided 10 points and seven rebounds, while Cuevas contributed seven rebounds.

Cerritos vs. Mission: Looking to end their series of close games, the Falcons opened up a 28-19 lead after a pair of Ta'amu free throws in the second quarter. The lead swelled to 36-24 in the third quarter until the Saints pulled back even at 39-39 after a 15-3 run. Jesenia Rendon opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to give Cerritos a 48-43 lead, which increased to 53-43. The Falcons went on to maintain the lead the rest of the game and were led by Serena Rendon (17 points, six rebounds, four assists) and Ta'amu, who had 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals. 

Cerritos vs. Riverside City: In the consolation championship game, the Falcons led, 41-35 at halftime, but saw their lead slip away in the third quarter, as the Tigers pulled ahead, 62-57. Jesenia Rendon put Cerritos in the lead, 69-68 with a bucket and 3:27 left in the game. Ta'amu converted one of two free throws with 2:11 left to put the team up, 71-70. However, that would be the last of their scoring, as they went 0-for-4 the rest of the game. Serena Rendon finished with 21 points, while Gomez accounted for 20 points for the Falcons. Jesenia Rendon added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Clark posted nine points and seven boards.