For the first time since 1991, before any of the current players were even born, the Allan Hancock College women's basketball team won the championship at the Cuesta College Tournament. The Bulldogs defeated College of the Desert 59-44 to win the title on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs won their sixth straight game, the program's longest winning streak in at least eight years, to improve to 7-1. Desert fell to 6-5.
Hancock trailed 24-23 at halftime, but took control of the game in the second half behind a dominant third quarter where the Bulldogs outscored Desert 21-5. Freshman guard Syenna Ramirez scored 17 of her team-high 22 points in the third quarter. The St. Joseph High School graduate completed a double-double by compiling 10 rebounds. She also had two steals and six assists. She made five of her seven free throw attempts and three of her four shots from three-point territory. The freshman was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Destinee Garcia scored 16 points, 12 of them came in the first half. The freshman added a team-best 12 rebounds along with five assists and four steals. Garcia was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore guard Marissa Torres, a Templeton High School graduate, added 10 points, three steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Freshman forward Kelly McClain scored six points and pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots off the bench for the Bulldogs.
The Hancock defense held Monterey to 29.5 percent shooting from the floor (18 for 61) and 22 percent from three-point range (5 for 23). The Bulldogs shot 38 percent (22 for 58) overall and made five of 12 from three-point range. The Bulldogs also sank 10 of their 13 free throws or 77 percent.
The Bulldogs pulled down 43 rebounds and dished out 16 assists and compiled 11 steals. Desert finished with 30 rebounds.
Monterey defeated the host Cuesta Cougars 64-44 to earn third place.
The Hancock women return home to host the annual Allan Hancock College Lady Bulldog Classic. The three-day tournament runs from Thursday, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 12. The Bulldogs open Thursday at 7 p.m. against Gavilan.
Monterey Peninsula, Cuesta, Lassen, Barstow, Siskiyous and Saddleback will also compete at Hancock. The tournament opens at 1 p.m. when Cuesta battles Siskiyous, Saddleback and Barstow meet at 3 p.m., while Monterey and Lassen play at 5 p.m. All games will take place inside Joe White Memorial Gymnasium. Games will take place at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9.