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The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics: Women's Basketball Enters Postseason; Softball Opens Conference Play

The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics: Women's Basketball Enters Postseason; Softball Opens Conference Play

It promises to be a memorable week of competition for Allan Hancock College athletics. The women's basketball earned a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 1995. The softball team opens conference play with a doubleheader at Bakersfield Thursday, while baseball heads south for three games over three days. The track team will also compete in the Western State Conference North Meet. 

 

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (5-5, 17-9)

This Week: California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Regionals

            Wednesday, Feb. 22, @ Santa Ana, 7 p.m.

 

For the first time in 22 years, the Allan Hancock College women's basketball team has earned a spot in the postseason. The Bulldogs received the No. 18 seed for the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association's (CCCAA) Southern California Regionals. The Bulldogs will play at Santa Ana, the No. 15 seed, Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m.   

 

The Bulldogs ended the regular season 17-9 overall and finished third in the Western State Conference standings at 5-5. The 17 wins represent the program's highest single-season win total since 1994-95, which is also the last time Hancock appeared in the state playoffs. Ventura, which won its 27th straight WSC title after a perfect 10-0 record in league, received the No. 3 seed. Moorpark, which finished second in conference at 8-2, also made the 19-team field as the No. 13 seed and drew No. 4 Cypress in the second round.

 

After losing starting point guard Syenna Ramirez (St. Joseph HS) to a season-ending injury in the middle of a three-game losing streak two weeks ago, it appeared the Bulldogs' postseason chances disappeared. However, Hancock finished the season on a two-game winning streak, defeating Cuesta 63-46 and Oxnard 66-55 to reinsert itself into the playoff picture. The team's 17 wins aided by a 12-4 preseason help push Hancock into the postseason. Freshman guard Taylor Lee-Hammer (Pagosa Springs HS) is Hancock's leading scorer at 12.4 points per game. She is shooting 42 percent from 3-point range, the fifth-highest percentage in the state. Freshman center Grace Rosa (Paso Robles HS) puts up 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs. Freshman guard Karly Beyers (Pioneer Valley HS) averages 9.7 points per game and is shooting 37 percent from 3-point territory. Sophomore forward Destinee Garcia (Golden West HS) averages 8.3 points and 6.4 boards per contest.

 

Santa Ana finished tied for fourth in the Orange Empire conference at 5-7, and 15-13 overall.  The Dons lost their last two games of the regular season. Sophomore Blaysen Varnadoe is the team's leading scorer and rebounder at 18.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Sophomore Taylor Ivicevic averages 12.3 points. Jen Ventura averages 8.7 points per game and is shooting 31 percent from 3-point range.

 

The Bulldogs and Santa Ana have three common opponents this season: Cuesta, Orange Coast and Bakersfield. Both teams beat Bakersfield: Hancock by three points and Santa Ana by five. Santa Ana defeated Cuesta by four in December, while the Bulldogs went 3-0 against the Cougars. Hancock lost by 38 points to Orange Coast in Ventura, while Santa Ana beat Orange Coast in their two meetings this year.

 

The winner of Wednesday's first round game will advance to Saturday's second round at No. 2 East Los Angeles. East LA is riding a nine-game winning streak and shared the South Coast Conference's North Division title with Mt. San Antonio College. East LA is 26-2 overall.

 

BASEBALL (4-6)

This Week:

            Thursday, Feb. 23, @ Cypress, 2 p.m.

            Friday, Feb. 24, @ Irvine Valley, 2 p.m.

            Saturday, Feb. 25, @ Cypress, 12 p.m.

 

The Hancock baseball team will play three road games in three days starting at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 23, at Cypress. The Bulldogs will play at Irvine Valley at 2 p.m. on Friday before closing out the road trip at noon on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Cypress. The Bulldogs are coming off a week where they won two out of three games.

 

The Bulldogs opened last week with an 11-1 win at home over College of the Sequoias. Freshmen Brendan Gomez (Santa Ynez HS) and Quinntin Perez (St. Joseph HS) had three hits apiece. Gomez and third baseman Josh Harmonay (Faith Lutheran HS) had 2 RBI each. Harmonay, second baseman Daniel Curiel (Righetti HS) and sophomore first baseman Walker Armstrong (St. Joseph HS) had two hits each. Freshman right-hander Will Dowell (Righetti HS) improved to 2-1 after he threw seven-shutout innings. He allowed just three hits, four walks, and struck out two.

 

Hancock fell 6-3 to College of the Canyons last Wednesday. Gomez had two hits and 2 RBI, while Wyatt Coll (Righetti HS) also collected two hits. Armstrong allowed six runs, 16 hits over 6 1/3 innings, and took the loss to fall to 1-2. Cordell Bowie (Del Sol Academy) added a RBI-double for the Bulldogs.

 

The Bulldogs closed out the week with a 6-1 win at L.A. Pierce. They improved to 3-0 against the Brahmas in 2017. Curiel had two hits and scored three times, while Gomez clubbed a two-run home run. He had three RBI to bring his season total to a team-best 10 RBI. Nate Alcantar (Pioneer Valley HS) started on the mound and allowed one run and three hits over three solid innings.  Dowell entered the game and threw four shutout innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1. Armstrong threw the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.

 

Ten games into the season, Perez leads the team with a  .400 batting average to go with 5 RBI. Gomez is hitting .395 with two home runs, three stolen bases and 10 RBI. Harmonay is hitting .308 with 7 RBI, while Curiel has scored a team-high 11 runs.

 

Cypress, the preseason No. 1 team in the Southern California Regional, is off to an 8-2 start. Willie Aguilar leads the team with nine runs and 8 RBI to go with a .278 batting average. Garrett Calvert is hitting .286 with 6 RBI and four doubles.

 

Irvine Valley is 8-4 and led by Tyler Odekirk, who is hitting .431 with 18 runs, 22 hits, 10 RBI and eight stolen bases. Catcher Cole Joy is hitting .347 with one home run and 9 RBI, while Ryan Gaynor has a team-leading 12 RBI and a .340 batting average.

 

SOFTBALL (6-1)

This Week:

            Thursday, Feb. 23 @ Bakersfield*, 2 & 4 p.m.

 

The Hancock softball team will open Western State Conference – North Division play this week with a doubleheader Thursday, February 23, at Bakersfield. The games are set for 2 and 4 p.m. The Renegades and Santa Monica were added during the offseason to Hancock's conference.

 

Due to the rain, Hancock's home game against College of the Canyons set for last Friday was rescheduled for March 30 at 1 p.m. When Hancock takes the field in Bakersfield, it will be the team's first game in 12 days when Hancock defeated Grossmont 4-1 to close out a two-day tournament hosted by Mt. San Jacinto College.

 

Seven games into the year, sophomore Myranda Morales (Pioneer Valley HS) is hitting .529 with 6 RBI. Sophomore second baseman Maggie Dasis (Righetti HS) is hitting .455 with 10 runs scored, four stolen bases and 8 RBI. Shortstop Larrissa Ostrander (Santa Clara HS) is hitting .423 with 8 RBI, while right fielder Isabella Partida (St. Joseph HS) is hitting .368 with 7 RBI. Freshman pitcher Bailey Killough (Arroyo Grande HS) is 4-0 in the circle with a 0.00 ERA. She has allowed 11 hits and five walks in 23 innings with 17 strikeouts. The freshman is also hitting .389 at the plate. Sophomore pitcher Shannon Peterson (Santa Clara HS) is hitting .355 with 4 RBI at the plate, and is 2-1 with 14 strikeouts and 2.21 ERA over 19 innings in the circle.

 

Bakersfield starts the week 2-3 with a doubleheader at Citrus College scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Renegades have a team batting average of .237. Alexis Solis is hitting a team-best .533 with 5 RBI. Alyssa Gonzalez has a .417 average with 2 RBI. Pitcher McKenna Valencia has 17 walks, 19 strikeouts, and a 6.78 ERA over 21 2/3 innings. 

 

TRACK AND FIELD

This Week:

            Friday, Feb. 24 @ Western State Conference North Meet @ Ventura

 

The Hancock track and field teams will return to action Friday, February 24, for the Western State Conference's North Meet at Ventura College. The Bulldogs were scheduled to compete at the WSC Relays last week, but the meet was postponed due to the rain.

 

Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs finished eighth in the men's standings and ninth in the women's field at the Battle of the Regions in Bakersfield. Sophomore Brent Dionisio (Pioneer Valley HS) won the men's long jump (20-8.5) and high jump (6-2) events.  Steven Youngblood (Pioneer Valley HS) finished third in the steeplechase, and fifth in the 3,000 meter run. Freshman Zak Morson (Cabrillo HS) finished seventh in the 100, and fifth in the long jump. Jose Rodriguez (Cabrillo HS) ran the sixth fastest time in the 100, and Ben Wulfestieg (Cabrillo HS) placed fourth in the shot put and fifth in the javelin throw.  Sophomore Rachel Naugle (Graceway Private) finished seventh in the 1,500 and sixth in the 800. Taylor Nevitt (Nipomo HS) came in fourth in the shot put and third in the discus throw for the Bulldogs.

 

MEN'S BASKETBALL (4-6, 14-16)

The Hancock men's basketball team ended the 2016-17 season over the weekend with a 98-85 win over Oxnard. After beating the Condors for the second time this year, the Bulldogs finished the season tied for fourth in the Western State Conference standings at 4-6 and 14-16 overall.

 

Sophomore Kevawn Lord (West Side HS) led the Bulldogs in the final game of the season with a career-high 35 points to go with eight rebounds. He finished the season averaging 12 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, ranking second on the team in both categories among people who played 10 or more games. Lord posted three double-doubles. He averaged 16.7 points per game during the conference schedule.

 

Marcellus Garrick (Westwood HS) finished as the team's leading scorer at 15.9 points per game to with a .359 3-point shooting percentage and .785 free-throw percentage. Garrick averaged 20.3 points and 2.9 3-point baskets per game during conference action. Deon Whiteside (Bishop Gorman HS) ranked third on the team at 9.6 points per game.

 

Erik Kinnebrew (Middlebrooks Academy) averaged 7.2 points, a team-best 7.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.  Kinnebrew finished with five double-doubles, including a triple-double against El Camino with 21 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists. He averaged 9.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game during conference action. Freshman guard Nolan Willett (JSerra) led the team at 5.0 assists per game to go with 7.8 points. During conference action, he averaged 8.9 points and 5.9 assists per game.

 

Garrick and Lord were named to the All-Conference First Team. Kinnebrew received honorable mention.