W. Basketball: Opening tournament nets third place finish

File Photo: The Falcons took third place at the Riverside Tournament
File Photo: The Falcons took third place at the Riverside Tournament

In their first competition of the season, the Cerritos College women's basketball team came in third place at the Riverside City Tournament over the weekend. The Falcons (2-1) opened with a 68-65 win over Santa Ana College before falling, 62-52 in the semifinals against Glendale College. They rebounded for a 63-55 win over Bakersfield College in the third place game. The team will now compete in the San Diego City Tournament, which opens on Friday with the Falcons taking on MiraCosta College at noon.

Cerritos vs. San Ana: Trailing by as much as 25-12 in the first quarter, the Falcons slowly worked their way back into the game. Trailing by 11 at the end of the first quarter, sophomore Serena Rendon (Carson HS) started the road back with a three-pointer. But the deficit would then swell to 18 points (37-19) with 4:10 left in the first half, which would be the biggest of the game. The defense held the Dons to just one point the rest of the half, while Cerritos scored 13 points to get to within 38-32. Both Serena Rendon (Carson HS) and Jesenia Rendon would each drain three-pointers, while sophomore guard Gillian Yamasaki (South Torrance HS) added four points during the run. The Falcons finally tied the game on a Yamasaki three-pointer with 2:36 left in the third quarter and then led for the first time, 48-46 when freshman Reshenia Billups (Warren HS) hit a three-pointer with 1:38 left in the quarter. Serena Rendon scored five points in a row in the fourth quarter to make it a 57-51 Falcon lead. It was a two-point game (67-65) with :49 seconds left. Both teams turned the ball over on their next possessions, but Jesenia Rendon was able to convert one of two free throws, while Serena Rendon grabbed the rebound on the second shot to run out the clock. Serena Rendon (27 points, six rebounds) and Jesenia Rendon (17 points, five assists, three rebounds) led the way, with a supporting effort from sophomore Jessica Gomez (Legacy HS) with seven points. Sophomore Lynette Garcia (Downey HS/Park, MO University) came off the bench to pull down eight rebounds, while sophomore Carolina Cuevas (Legacy HS) contributed seven boards.

Cerritos vs. Glendale: Looking to score from the outside, the Falcons were only 2-for-21 from three-point range, while shooting just 32% from the field in the loss to the Vaqueros. An early 5-2 lead was washed away quickly, with their last lead of the game coming after a Gomez jump shot with 3:05 left in the first quarter for an 11-10 advantage. Once Glendale took the lead, they maintained it the remainder of the game. With time running out, freshman Mariah Lora (Warren HS) connected on a three-pointer with :52 seconds left to make it a 58-52 game. The Vaqueros converted their final four free throws to secure the win and drop the Falcons to the third place game. Jesenia Rendon led the team with 14 points, while the Falcons received seven points and four offensive rebounds off the bench from freshman Sarah Hernandez (St. Paul HS). Cuevas posted six points and five rebounds, with the trio of Serena Rendon, Lora and Kayla Sta. Ana (St. Joseph HS) each adding five points.

Cerritos vs. Bakersfield: The Rendon twins took the third place game into their own hands and combined to make 13-of-27 shots with 13 rebounds, with Serena Rendon making good on 5-of-8 three pointers. Jesenia Rendon also dished out six assists and finished with 22 points, to the 21 contributed by Serena Rendon. The Falcons opened up a 5-0 lead, thanks to a three-pointer from Jesenia Rendon and a bucket from Cuevas. The game had 12 lead changes, with the Renegades holding a 42-38 advantage with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter. It was a 46-46 game until Serena Rendon dropped a three-pointer with 4:54 left on the clock, while her follow-up trey made it 54-46 just :52 seconds later. Cerritos would then go on to record the eight-point win. Cuevas (six points, eight rebounds) played well, with the duo of Gomez (four rebounds) and Billups each adding four points.