Pasadena City College hosted the Chick-fil-A Classic women’s basketball tournament at the Hutto-Patterson gymnasium on Friday Nov. 8 and Saturday Nov. 9. The Lancers prevailed with two victories in the tournament against San Diego City College Friday night (79-52), and Imperial Valley College Saturday afternoon (75-32).

PCC used the tournament to experiment different strategic combinations before the season begins.

James Membreno/ Courier
Kristal Espinoza strips the ball from San Diego’s Andrea Olguin on Thursday, November 8, 2019 at the Hutto-Patterson Gym.

 Sophomore Guard/Forward Dariel Johnson, was named the MVP of the tournament after averaging a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds during Friday’s game.

“Overall I had a solid game,” Johnson said. “I had a few minor mistakes where I could have finished at the end, but I’m just proud that my team won.”

 Head Coach Joe Peron was very pleased with Johnson’s performance.

 “Dariel is the catalyst of our team, the cornerstone and our last line of defense when needed,” Peron said.

 The Lancers point guard, Cosette Balmy, also made the all-tournament team along with Johnson averaging 14 points and 5 steals.

“It all starts with our coaches,” Balmy said. “Coach Peron is a really intense coach and I have to follow that. It starts at practice. Everything is always intense and we have to be on top of our game.”

James Membreno/ Courier
Cosette Balmy saves the ball from going out of bounds on Thursday, November 8, 2019 at the Hutto-Patterson Gym.

 The Lancers defense was pivotal in dominating their opponents.

 “Our culture on offense is the extra pass, and the defensive mindset is to keep people in the 40s,” Peron said.

 Although the Lancers weren’t able to keep the Knights from scoring 40 points or less, they took care of business against Imperial Valley, by holding them to 32. The Lancers were able to separate themselves by scoring off of turnovers. Friday, the Lancers scored 27 points off of turnovers and continued to build on that effort Saturday by scoring 40 points. 

“This team has the potential to be the best we’ve had in recent years with the capabilities of doing some special things,” Peron said.

 The Lancers have two weeks before they play in the Santa Ana tournament at Santa Ana College Nov. 21 through Nov. 23.

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