By Wes McCurtis
Los Angeles, CA – The No. 16 Cypress College women's basketball team (8-3) captured 3rd place at the LA Valley College Tournament this past weekend. The Chargers went 2-1 on the weekend with wins coming against San Bernardino Valley and Orange Empire Conference rival Fullerton College. The lone loss came against No. 14 Ventura in Saturday's tournament semi-final.
The Chargers opened up the tournament on Friday with a decisive 73-51 victory over San Bernardino Valley College. Cypress jumped out ahead early using their relentless full court pressure defense to create turnovers and easy points in the fast break. The Wolverines turned it over 29 times resulting in 29 points off turnovers. The Chargers' defense and balanced offensive attack propelled them to a 43-18 halftime lead. San Bernardino was unable to recover in the second half as Cypress went on to win and advance to the semi-final. Sylvia Garcia led the way off the bench with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds.
Cypress struggled shooting the ball in their 63-72 semi-final loss to No. 14 Ventura College. The Chargers shot 29.5% from the field and a season-low 45.5% from the foul line. The Chargers' streaky shooting has been a concern this season, as they have shot below 30% from the field in all 3 of their losses. Movchan was the lone bright spot for Cypress. The All-Tournament selection finished with a career-high 27 points, including 6 three-pointers, and 8 rebounds.
After a disappointing loss, the Chargers looked to bounce back in Sunday's 3rd place game against district rival Fullerton. The Hornets jumped out to an early 21-14 lead at the end of the 1st quarter but Cypress responded by outscoring Fullerton 38-15 over the next 2 quarters to take control of the game. It was again the Chargers' defense that propelled the run, forcing the Hornets into 29 turnovers. Cypress went on to capture 3rd place with a 71-54 victory. Garcia led the way again with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dominique Culhno added 11 points and 5 steals.
Women's basketball returns to action this weekend (Dec. 16-18) at the Antelope Valley College Tournament in Lancaster, CA. The Chargers will open the tournament on Friday at 1:00 p.m. against Canyons.
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