West Hills Lemoore ladies fall short in bid to win second straight tournament title

By Ed Martin, Editor
Samantha Earls for two points against College of the Redwoods
Samantha Earls for two points against College of the Redwoods
Photo by Bill Burris, Photography for Kings County

West Hills College Lemoore's talented women's basketball team staged a furious comeback in its bid to win a second straight community college basketball tournament Sunday night, but in the end Cerritos College held the advantage, holding off the stubborn Golden Eagles 57-52. The loss dropped the Eagles to 11-4 on the season as they prepare for their grueling conference schedule.

The Golden Eagles got to their second straight tournament final by beating a pair of formidable opponents on Friday and Saturday in the Second Annual Golden Eagle Classic. The Eagles beat visiting College of the Redwoods Friday night 87-74 in the opener of the opener, and then beat South West Los Angeles Saturday night, 62-53 to earn a spot in the Sunday afternoon title game.

The Golden Eagles played South West Los Angeles in Saturday's semi-final game for the right to play in the title game Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Golden Eagle Arena. West Hills Lemoore will play Cerritos College in today's (Sunday) championship game. Cerritos beat Fresno City College in the other semi-final game.

The annual Golden Eagle Classic has fielded some high-powered teams this Christmas, including perennial power Fresno City College. The Rams beat up on Modesto Friday afternoon in the early game for the right to play Cerritos in the semi-final game.

The Golden Eagles had to come from behind in the second half to win Friday night’s game, and former Lemoore High School Kiesha Loftin was a big part of the the Eagles’ comeback. The talented freshman guard, who was a standout player for the Tigers last year, came off the bench to score 12 points, nine of them in the second half to help spearhead a big comeback that saw her Golden Eagles outplay Redwoods and advance to the next game.

“I think our team is getting better with each game,” said Loftin, following Friday’s exciting victory. “We’re really learning to play together and communicate, and we’re learning.” Loftin said she is enjoying her stint with the Golden Eagles. “I love it. I started off in a rough patch but they love me and I love them back. I’m really enjoying this.”

The Eagles also got a boost from starting freshman guard Samantha Earls, a Clovis High School standout who consistently penetrated the Redwood defense for a game-high 17 points. Former Hanford standout Kalia Parker was also on the mark Friday, tossing in 13 points.

The Golden Eagles improved to 11-3 on the year and just won the Moorpark Tournament last weekend in Southern California, their first tournament title in three years of existence at West Hills College Lemoore.

Comments powered by Disqus