Jake Kelly leads women’s basketball to third place in first tournament

Travis Noe and Travis Noe

Sophomore point guard Jake Kelly made an immediate impact in her first two games as a Vaquero, leading the women’s basketball team to a third place finish in City College’s season opening “Mental Toughness, Extra Effort” tournament.

Tied at 72 with two minutes to play in the third-place consolation game against Orange Coast College, Kelly, who also plays as a libero on the women’s volleyball team, made a crucial steal and took the ball coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Vaqs ahead by two.

The sophomore also nailed two free throws with less than 30 seconds left to secure the Vaquero’s victory 80-76, and a third place finish in the tournament.

“It was a great start to the season,” said Kelly, who had to miss the first game of the tournament because of a volleyball game. “I thought everyone played well, and I tried to just play hard and play my game.”

The Lady Vaqs opened their season on Friday night with a 70-53 victory over Long Beach City, despite the team’s early foul trouble.

Returning starter Francesca DeAngelis was three for four from beyond the three-point line to carry the team with 28 points.

The team made a late second half surge to come within six points of Grossmont in the semi-final game on Saturday night, but couldn’t overcome the Griffins despite having all starters score in double digits. Kelly scored 14 points, and pulled down five rebounds, dished out five assists, and only turned the ball over twice in the 84-76 loss.

“Our starters played well against Grossmont,” said head coach Sandrine Krul, who’s in her sixth year as the team’s head coach. “We’re all about our system, and we need everyone, including the bench players, to play well to fit that system.”

Krul was ecstatic about the way all of her players played in the consolation game against Orange Coast.

“Our motto is 14 players for 40 minutes, and today that’s exactly what happened,” Krul said. “Everyone played their role.”

The Vaqs went on an 18-point run in the second half to get back in the game. After Orange Coast called two timeouts to slow down City College’s momentum, six-foot freshman forward Mara Lux, who was named to the all tournament team, scored two consecutive baskets to keep the Vaquero lead.

The team has started out 2-1 after posting a 22-13 record last year.

Krul believes her squad is more athletic and better prepared this time around. Heading into the tournament, City College was ranked in the top 20 in the state.