LA Valley Monarchs reign as SBCC is booted from the playoffs 70-50

Jade+Jones+gets+the+ball+off+a+pass+in+the+third+quarter+of+the+Vaqueros+first+playoff+game+against+the+LA+Valley+Monarchs+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+26+in+the+Sports+Pavilion+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+Vaqueros+lost+to+the+Monarchs+70-50.+

Sarah Maninger

Jade Jones gets the ball off a pass in the third quarter of the Vaqueros first playoff game against the LA Valley Monarchs on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in the Sports Pavilion at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros lost to the Monarchs 70-50.

Sarah Maninger, Sports Editor

The Vaqueros wanted this win badly.

But sometimes, wanting isn’t enough. 

On Wednesday night, City College fell to the LA Valley Monarchs 70-50 in its first and final postseason game of the year.

After a 15-8 season, the Vaqueros found out that they would make the postseason on Sunday as the number 15 seed and would face number 18 LA Valley at home.

“We were happy, coach hasn’t been to the playoffs in a while. We have a special team and we came out, we’re just happy,” said sophomore Guard Alondra Jimenez

The Vaqueros started their season off strong, going 5-2 in November. 

A three-game losing streak to kick-off conference play in January put City College’s playoff hopes in jeopardy, but an 81-75 win over Allan Hancock in the last game of the regular season all but cemented the team’s spot in the postseason. 

“You go so high and then you crash because you want it so bad. This team wanted it so bad so you gotta sustain [it] emotionally,” said Head Coach Sandrine Krul.

At 15-13, LA Valley narrowly made the playoffs but fought to stay in it on Wednesday night.

For the entire game, the Vaqueros failed to get through the Monarch’s soldier-like defense and were not able to put up good shots. 

“Don’t get it twisted, we just didn’t hit shots. We’re defending, playing hard,” said Krul. “You gotta hit shots to win a basketball game, and we didn’t do that. That’s it. Nothing else.” 

The only way to stay alive in winner-take-all playoff games is to stay one step ahead of the other team, and on Wednesday night, the Vaqueros found themselves falling further and further behind. 

That said, the Vaqueros fought hard and still had a successful season. 

“Playoffs are icing on the cake,” said Krul.

High energy and cheers from both benches fueled a fiercely competitive game, with both teams attempting almost exactly the same number of field goals, three-pointers, and free throws. 

“This loss doesn’t diminish the amazing athletes that they are,” said Krul.

The Vaqueros overcame a lot this season, including going 37 days without playing a game due to the seasons at Cuesta and LA Pierce either being canceled or suspended. 

“This team played hard all year, and again when you have two programs, Cuesta and Pierce that dropped their programs and you don’t play a game for 37 days, that hurts a program. That hurts the team, and then we make the playoffs,” said Krul. 

The score of the game did not change the energy level in the Sports Pavilion, as over two hundred people came to see the Vaqueros battle the Monarchs. Among those in attendance were City College football coach Craig Moropoulos and baseball coach Jeff Walker. 

In addition to placing third in the Western State Conference North division, Jimenez, Sophia Torres, and Jordan Parkhurst made first-team All-Conference. 

Six out of nine Vaqueros are sophomores and have all been recruited by four-year universities. 

“I’m excited that the six sophomores are all being recruited, they’re going to go on to four years and this will be a moment that they will always remember,” said Krul.

In order to fill the open spots on the roster, Coach Krul and her team have been recruiting “like crazy” by going to lots of local high school games. 

Wednesday’s loss may take a while to get over, but both Coach Krul and her players are happy about the season and excited for what’s next.