W. Basketball: Third place finish at SD City Tournament for the Falcons

File Photo: Gilliam Yamasaki and the Falcons took third place at the SD City Tournament
File Photo: Gilliam Yamasaki and the Falcons took third place at the SD City Tournament

In their second tournament in as many weeks, the Cerritos College women's basketball team finished in third place for the second time this season. The Falcons (4-2), competing at the San Diego City Tournament over the weekend, won their first game, 67-54 over MiraCosta College, but then dropped a 69-50 decision to Cuesta College in the semifinals. Coming back the final day, the team posted a 58-49 win over the host Knights in the third place game. Cerritos will now travel to Rio Hondo College on Wednesday for a 4:00 p.m. South Coast Conference crossover game.

Cerritos vs. MiraCosta: Receiving bad news before the start of the tournament, the Falcons found out that second-leading scorer Jesenia Rendon (Carson HS) would be unavailable for the weekend. The Falcons opened up a 34-22 first half lead and after an early 5-4 deficit, never trailed the rest of the way. Looking to pick up the slack, twin sister Serena Rendon (Carson HS) drained five three-pointers for a team-high 17 points, while three players scored in double-figures off the bench. Freshman Kayla Sta. Ana (St. Joseph HS) connected on a trio of three-pointers and finished with a season-high 14 points, with freshman Sarah Hernandez (St. Paul HS) converting 6-of-7 field goals to add 12 points, along with five rebounds. Also off the bench, Renisha Billups (Warren HS) accounted for 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Carolina Cuevas (Legacy HS) posted seven boards in the win. 

Cerritos vs. Cuesta: The shots weren't falling for the Falcons against the Cougars, as they converted just 19-of-26 attempts, while they made just 5-of-26 three pointers. By contrast, Cuesta made good on 46% of their field goals and received 65 of their 69 points from the starting lineup. Aside from 26 points from Serena Rendon, no other Cerritos player scored in double figures. Hernandez did account for nine points and nine boards off the bench, with Cuevas matching the rebound total from her center position. The team missed their first eight field goal attempts before Rendon connected on a three-pointer with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter. At that point, the Falcons trailed only 8-6, but would only score two more points in the quarter. The Falcons did close the gap to 20-17 in the second quarter on another trey from Rendon and were only down, 28-27 at intermission. It was a 46-45 game with just 10 minutes left, but that's where the wheels fell off. Cerritos shot only 1-for-12 in the fourth quarter, with the Cougars making 6-of-13, with four of them from three-point range to pull away.

Cerritos vs. San Diego City: Looking to avoid their first two-game losing skid of the season, the Falcons reversed what happened to them the day before, and out-scored the Knights, 24-7 in the fourth quarter to post the win. Playing from behind almost the entire game, and down, 44-34 with 7:20 left in the fourth quarter, sophomore Jessica Gomez (Legacy HS) and Hernandez made consecutive baskets to start the comeback. The rally continued with freshmen Lynette Garcia (Downey HS) and Mariah Lora (Warren HS) adding field goals to close the game to 44-43. With 4:34 left, Rendon hit a three-pointer to tie the game and after Hernandez hit a three-pointer with 3:37 remaining, Cerritos took the lead, 49-48. A pair of San Diego City turnovers and two missed free throws were matched by field goals from Gomez and Rendon for the Falcons for a 53-48 advantage with 1:49 left. Rendon (23 points, eight rebounds) netted three of four free throws to close out the game. Billups (eight points), Hernandez (seven points, seven rebounds) and Gomez (six points) also played well for Cerritos.