Taft College – still without its leading scorer – was eliminated after losing its first two games of last weekend’s San Diego City College tournament.
In their first game Friday, the Cougars dropped into the loser’s bracket with a 65-59 loss to Imperial Valley College and were eliminated on Saturday with a 76-55 defeat at the hands of Victor Valley College.
The losses drop the Cougars’ overall record in pre-conference games to 5-9.
TC will take some time off before the next game Jan. 4 in Sacramento against Cosumnes River College.
Hopefully, the layoff will allow the Cougars to get back to full strength.
Leading scorer Erica Evans, who was averaging 18.5 points a game when she went down with a foot injury Dec. 1 in a tournament.
Sophomore guard Schalon Baysinger also is out with a foot injury.
Imperial Valley 65, TC 59
Sophomore guard Zanoria Echols led the Cougar scoring with 19 points. She also had 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Center Bezait Anbesse scored 13 points and led the team with nine rebounds.
Other scorers were Ramonique Redding and Crystallyn Faletoi with 8 apiece, Kehlaulani Silva with 6, Airiyana Brown with 3 and Mylasia Smith with 2.
TC shot 33.8 percent from the field, including just 2-of-13 from 3-point range.
Imperial Valley’s Sophia Leyva led all scorers with 27 points.
Victor Valley 76, TC 55
The Cougars were their own worst enemy with a season high 25 turnovers. By contrast, VVC had just 8.
The Rams raced out to a quick lead and were up by 20 (41-21) at halftime.
The Cougars got their offense going in the second half, playing the Rams even.
Anbesse led Taft with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Echols followed with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Brown had 8 points, Smith 7, Shelly Gill 6, Faletoi 5, Redding 3 and Silva 2.