The Pasadena City College women's basketball team followed its first loss of the 2018-19 season by winning three straight games to capture the consolation title at the 42nd College of the Sequoias Gilcrest Invitational played Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The Lancers are off to a strong 8-1 start.
PCC rallied from 11 points down after three quarters to win the consolation final over Cerritos, 51-48, Sunday morning. first-year point guard Cosette Balmy gave the Lancers the lead for good, 47-45, on a layup with 2:35 left. Sophomore center Dariel Johnson scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while frosh forward Mariah Cathcart added 13 points. Sophomore transfer forward Daniela Mendez, playing at her former college at this tourney, chipped in 11 points. Balmy had five points, five assists and made six steals.
Johnson was selected to the All-Tournament team.
In the consolation semifinals, the Lancers raced to a 19-7 first-quarter lead en route to a 64-45 rout over Mission. Johnson (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Balmy (17 points, 11 rebounds) posted double-doubles and freshman guard Kailey Thai hit three 3-pointers as part of her 12 points.
In the conso quarterfinals, PCC outscored Santa Rosa, 33-14, in the second and third quarters and controlled things throughout in a 65-37 victory. Johnson tallied 16 points and 13 boards, Cathcart recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Mendez drilled a trio of treys on her way to 15 points. Thai added nine points (6-for-6 from the free throw line).
In the COS tourney opener, the Lancers let one get away in a 54-51 loss to Reedley. PCC took a 50-48 lead on Johnson's bucket with 3:46 left. From that point on, Pasadena struggled, missing its last seven shots from the field and making only 1-of-4 free throw attempts in crunch time. Reedley took the lead for good, 52-50, on Stephanie Cervantes' layup with 58 seconds remaining.
Free throw shooting was the difference as the Tigers made 21-of-24 (.875), including a perfect 14-for-14 from the line by Chloe Welch (finished with 16 points). The Lancers only converted 10 of 23 attempts (.435) at the stripe.
Balmy was the lone Lancer in double figures in scoring with 16 points (and six steals). Johnson added nine points, 10 rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals. Mendez totaled nine points.
Coach Joe Peron's Lancers next plays at the College of the Desert Crossover Classic Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, opening with a game against Fullerton at 4 p.m. on Dec. 14.