Taft College’s young women’s basketball team continues to show improvement and hopes to demonstrate that this weekend in Salinas where they will defend their title in the Hartnell College tournament.
The Cougars are 2-2 after opening the season by going 0-3 in the Pasadena City College tournament.
After beating Allan Hancock in a single game, the Cougars went 1-2 in last weekend’s Ventura tournament, losing the consolation championship by two points in overtime.
“We were ahead by two points with six seconds left in regulation and turned it over,” said head coach Tyrone Taylor.
“We lost the first game to the No. 1 team in the state but overall we did pretty well. Everyone is playing well. We’ve got our scoring up.”
Pre-season No. 1 Mt. San Antonio defeated the Cougars 60-42 in the tournament opener, but Taft bounced back to thump Laney 80-66 before losing 64-62 to Santa Monica in overtime.
Mt. SAC went on to win the tourney title, beating pre-season No. 2 Ventura 74-71. The Mounties are 6-0 on the season.
Sophomore center Bezait Anbesse and freshman guard Erica Evans paced the Cougars on offense and defense.
Evans, from Rancho Cucamonga, scored 61 points while Anbesse led the team with 46 rebounds.
Against Mt. SAC, Evans scored exactly half of Taft’s points. Anbesse had 14 rebounds and Crystal Faletoi 6.
The Cougars had better balance in the victory over Laney.
Evans set the pace with 21 points while Anbesse scored 16, Romanique Redding 15, Zanoria Echols 13, and Ariyana Brown 11.
Rebounding showed more balance too.
Anbesse led the team with 9, Shelly Gill had 6 and Echols 5.
Against Santa Monica, Evans and Anbesse shared top scoring honors with 19 apiece while Echols and Mylasia Smith each scored 7points.
Anbesse had a big day on the boards, pulling down 23 rebounds. Faletoi had 8.