Mounties Fall to RoadRunners in TipOff Tournament Final


Mt. SAC competing against Rio Hondo in the TipOff Tournament Championship on Sunday, Nov. 4. Photo Credit: Travis Jepeway.

The Mt. SAC women’s basketball team opened up the 2018-19 season, hosting their annual TipOff Tournament from Nov. 2-4.  After breezing through the first two rounds, the Mounties came just short of the championship with a crushing 55-54 loss to Rio Hondo in the final round.

The Mounties opened up the tournament on Friday, Nov. 2 with a 62-54 win over College of the Canyons. Tianna Burrell led Mt. SAC in scoring with 13 points, while Aujanae Mayes had 5 assists and 5 steals. Tiana Douglas was a beast on the boards with 15 rebounds.

Women’s basketball fell to Rio Hondo in the final round of the Tip-Off Tournament. Photo Credit: Travis Jepeway

On Saturday night, Mt. SAC women basketball faced Saddleback College in the second round of the Tip-Off Tournament and defeated them in a 74-57 blowout. There was no lack of entertainment in this game as the intensity level was high until the end.

As the first quarter buzzer was about to blow, Gauchos guard Kayla De Leon cut the point deficit and netted a 3-point field goal to put the score at 25-19.

With just over two minutes of play left in the second quarter, the Mounties’ Alexis Sanchez had a break play to the net where she was fouled by De Leon. Both players went up at the net and came down hard hitting the floor, while De Leon hit her head on the wall as well. Both players walked away ready to continue play.

Mountie forwards Jade Hughes and Mya Victor used their height advantage below the net to get several offensive and defensive rebounds to help the Mounties keep their lead strong the entire game.

In the first half of the game, the Mounties offense took advantage of a poor Gaucho defense by being explosive and driving the ball to the net instead of taking 3-point chances. Mounties defense was also firing on all cylinders by avoiding foul calls and getting several steals that were converted into points.

The Gauchos offense was taking a lot of quick 3-point attempts as well as fast lay-ups that couldn’t slow down enough to make the basket. This could be credited to the defense by the Mounties. Gauchos defense was open, allowing the Mounties to drive the net.

Halftime score was 37-29, Mounties lead.

The Mounties hosted the second round of the TipOff Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 3. Photo Credit: Travis Jepeway

In the third quarter, the Mounties defense had some issues and drew a foul on three straight Gaucho drives. In response to this, the offense sped the game up to attack the net and maintain the lead. At the end of three quarters, the Mounties held the lead 53-40.

Intensity levels rose in the fourth quarter while both sides made changes to their play style. Mounties defense started to allow some driving to the net in order to avoid fouls but used their height presence below the net to get rebounds and convert to offense. Mounties offense was as explosive as ever by finding a way to drive the ball to the net. They did not attempt as many 3-point shots as the Gauchos offense did, but made the 2-point field goals count.

There were a couple injuries the Mounties team suffered. Victor hit the ground while going for an offensive rebound in the fourth and hit her shoulder. She later was on the bench icing her shoulder and did not play the rest of the game. With 2:42 left in the fourth, Lauryn Manns injured herself playing defense and had to be helped off the court by trainers with an injury to her left leg.

The Mounties took the lead from the start and did not give it up once during the entire game. A strong offense and defensive presence helped in that.

A win against Saddleback put them in the championship game against Rio Hondo on Sunday, Nov. 4.

The Mounties defeated Saddleback, sending them to the championship game. Photo credit: Travis Jepeway

The Rio Hondo Roadrunners proved to be a much different team than the Gauchos.

There was no shortage of action in the first quarter, as both teams were firing off on offense and defense to put up a first quarter score of 20-21 with Rio Hondo leading. Mounties guard Tiana Douglas was playing the full court.

In the second quarter, the Mounties played a strong offense and defense that helped them outscore the Roadrunners by 10 points. It was during this quarter that the Mounties held the largest lead of the game at 12 points.

The Mounties offense had to get creative in ball movement on offense. At times  this lead to a turnover by steal, or due to the shot clock running out. The Mounties defense was aggressive, and caused the Roadrunners offense to commit errors and turn the ball over several times.

Mt. SAC out shot Rio Hondo in the first half by putting in 50 percent of the shots taken while Rio Hondo only put in 36 percent of the shots taken. The halftime score was 35-26 in favor of the Mounties.

When the third quarter came along, so did big changes by the Roadrunners team. Rio Hondo put on play that resembled the Mounties in the second quarter by putting strong pressure on the Mounties offense and defense. Rio Hondo ended up out scoring the Mounties 14-7 in the third.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Mounties held the lead with a score of 42-40. It was close until the end, with them holding the lead until the final minutes of the game. Roadrunners forward Christina Hilton tied the game up with a 3-point field goal.

Rio Hondo went on to outscore Mt. SAC 15-12 in the fourth, and win by one point. With the win, the Roadrunners won the Tip-Off Tournament, with the Mt. SAC Mounties coming in second place.

Mt. SAC on defense against Saddleback on Saturday, Nov. 3. Photo Credit: Travis Jepeway

“Stay consistent with the game plan,” Coach Brian Crichlow said on the teams performance. “We had the lead and everybody was sticking with the game plan. Then we decided to be a little selfish and start doing our own thing, and thats not the type of team we are. We got a game plan and you stick to it, and you stick to it for four quarters. If it works for two quarters, it has to work for three. If it works for three, it has to work for four.” Crichlow added.

“When you shoot 17 percent in the second half, it’s kind of hard to win a basketball game.” Crichlow said on the team’s second half performance.  “Lacking discipline on defense. Offensively we weren’t efficient, missed too many shots.”

“You got to dust yourself off and keep going. ” Crichlow said. “This is the third game of the year, we’re expecting to have 33 more,” He added.

The Mounties now have a record of 2-1 with the next game coming up on November 23 at Ventura College.