Despite being freshman-heavy and only one returning sophomore, the women’s basketball team dominated the Taft College Cougars in its first game of the Honda of Pasadena Classic Friday night in the Hutto-Patterson Gym.
After being up by as many as 43, the final score was 85-45 Lancers.
“It’s always good to win your first game and see your shooters maker their first few shots,” head coach Joe Peron, who improved his career record to 435-125, said. “Iliana Blanc and Regerina Baker are my two most productive forwards and they showed it, tonight.”
With the trio of Blanc, Baker and returning sophomore guard and team captain Emily Thach leading the way in points for PCC, the Lancers never looked over their shoulders, taking a 55-23 lead into half time.
Blanc led all scores with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists, followed by Thach’s 17 points and 4 steals. Baker added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“I was really surprised at how well we meshed tonight,” Thach said. “We all come from different backgrounds, but we came together as a team tonight and did extremely well.”
Blanc said that she started out the game really nervous, but once she got in a rhythm, found her shot and knocked them down in the paint. She shot 9-12 field goals.
“We shared the ball out there tonight,” Blanc said. “We played the game just like we’ve been taught to. There were a few lapses in defense that we’ll work on, but over all, we played just fine.”
Thach suffered a minor injury to her back late in the first half, having to come out after scoring 14 of her 17 points. She returned in the second half, but Peron said that he and his coaching staff would have to keep an eye on her minutes moving forward.
Peron said that defense was the area the Lancers would have to work on. The Cougars forced PCC to turn it over 20 times in the game.
“There was some sloppy basketball played early on,” Peron said. “We’ll make the adjustments and move forward.”
PCC will face El Camino Saturday at 6 p.m., the same team that beat them last year, in this very tournament, according to Peron.
“They’re a good team,” Peron said. “They’ve won their first four games already. But I’m confident that if we fix a few things on defense, we’ll come away with a win.”