VENTURA, CA – It wasn't pretty, but the No. 12-seeded Lady Chargers pulled off the upset over No. 5-seeded Ventura College in Friday night's CCCAA Southern California Regional Semifinal, 42-35. Cypress (22-7) will advance to the CCCAA Southern California Regional Final, where they will travel to take on No. 4-seeded LA Trade Tech (23-6) at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. Winner advances to the CCCAA State Championship Tournament (March 8-11) hosted by Ventura College.
On a night where the Chargers only connected on 25% of their attempts from the floor, their sophomore backcourt made the difference on Friday night. Gabrielle Carbajal led the way with 14 points and 4 rebounds, while Vivian Lara added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Ventura's Davina Del Castillo led the Pirates with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds.
The Chargers overcame 20 turnovers and a 12-for-47 shooting performance by dominating the boards and playing tough defense, holding the Pirates to a season-low 21% (15-for-69) from the floor and 5% (2-for-37) from three-point range. Despite their offensive struggles, Cypress remained aggressive throughout the game, converting on 14-of-21 attempts at the foul line, compared to Ventura's three free throw attempts (3-for-3).
After trailing early, the Lady Chargers ended the opening quarter on a 7-0 run to quite the home crowd and take a 16-11 lead into the second quarter. Both teams struggled to convert anything on offense in the second quarter, as Cypress took a 24-17 lead into halftime.
Coach Mohr knew that the third quarter would be pivotal for the Lady Chargers. Lara delivered, single handedly outscoring the Pirates in the quarter with 10 of her 13 points, to extend the Chargers' lead to 10 points heading into the final frame.
The Pirates, led by Del Castillo, made a fourth quarter push to make it a 2-point game with 1:46 remaining. However, Ventura could get no closer as the Pirates missed the game tying shot their next possession and were forced to foul the rest of the way. Two free throws from Carbajal put the game out of reach as the celebration began for the Chargers, as they went on to win, 42-35.
The Cypress College women's basketball team is preparing for a familiar opponent in LA Trade Tech, who the Chargers defeated earlier this season during their Grossmont Tournament Championship run, 68-57.
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