Womens Basketball leaps into the playoffs

Dan Nelson and Dan Nelson

City College’s womens basketball team soared over Cuesta College Saturday to secure a playoff seat, landing in second place in the Western State Conference North.

The team won the game 77-48 and is now 10-2 in conference, behind archrival Ventura College. With this last win, the Vaqueros finish the regular season with an 18-11 record.

“Our team has overcome a lot of adversity throughout the season,” sophomore Francesca DeAngelis said. “We have a lot of heart and I think we can go far into the playoffs.”

The women’s head basketball coach, Sandrine Krul expressed her excitement.

“We’re playing well, everyone’s contributing,” coach Krul said Saturday. “When everyone produces you’re going to have these lopsided scores.”

Both teams traded baskets early, scoring one after the other but Cuesta could not keep up for long. The Vaqueros were scoring rapidly from 3-point range going 8 of 11 in the first half and shot 53 percent from the field as a team.

Late in the first half the Vaqs led a one-point game, 20-19, when City College applied their full court press. Cuesta could not handle it, committing 37 turnovers. The Vaqueros only gave the ball away 10 times.

Sophomore guard Giovanna Aplin provided an early spark on both ends of the floor. She hit three 3-pointers early, scoring the first 11 points and finished with 17 points.

“Gigi came ready to play tonight,” coach Krul said. “She’s capable of doing that a lot. I’m so proud of her to do it in her last regular-season game.”

The conference scoring leader Francesca DeAngelis had an 18-point performance while Jake Kelly added on another 18 points and five assists. Between the two they made 15 of the team’s 24 steals.

The difference maker was the ability for the Vaqs to get into the bonus with 10:34 left in the game. The Vaquero’s shot 16 second half free throws, which allowed them to set up its defense on the other end.

“We wanted to get better at free throws just because we’ve been struggling. We’re only about 68 percent,” Krul said.

The hustle plays were really a factor as well.

Players were diving for lose balls, getting opportunities for second-chance points, and clogging up the pass lanes for easy steals.

“The defense overall was stifling,” added Krul. “If we got beat up top, then the frontline player would set up.”

Amidst the outstanding performance there was room for improvement.

The disparity on the scoreboards was a big concern. The Cougars out rebounded City College and scored most of its points in the paint.

“We have to work on rebounding. That’s our biggest thing right now,” Krul said. “After we knock that out, the playoffs will take care of themselves.”

The Vaqs end the regular season on a three game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine games. The team grabbed be the 16 seed in an 18-team Southern California Regional. They host L.A. Southwest tonight at 7 p.m.