by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
To say Taft College came out sluggish in its Central Valley Conference home basketball game Wednesday against College of the Sequoias is an understatement.
It didn't help that they were playing the top team in northern California and No. 2 in the state.
The result was a 76-35 thumping from the Giants, who made nine three-point shots – the exact number of total field goals the hopelessly outclassed Cougars managed.
"That was just an old fashioned ugly game we played," said Cougar coach Tyrone Taylor. "We had 30 turnovers and only made nine baskets. This was by far our worst output of the year. We just couldn't do anything."
The Cougars will try to regroup Saturday when they travel to Reedley College (1-1 CVC, 9-9 overall) for a 6 p.m. game.
The COS game got out of hand early.
It was 6-5 Giants four and a half minutes in after Cougar guard Synclaire Lucas sank a three-pointer – the only trey Taft had and her only bucket of the game.
After that the Giants went on a 16-0 run on six straight field goals – four of them three-pointers. Hannah Ramirez, who finished as the game's leading scorer with 17 points, scored 11 of the 16. Three of her field goals were three-pointers.
That run guided the Giants to a 35-11 lead at halftime.
COS opened the second half with an 11-3 run, followed by a 13-3 Cougar spree that narrowed the lead to 51-29 with 9:26 left after Carrie Graham's three-point play.
The wheels came off the Cougar wagon after that as the Giants scored 17 straight points to go up by 39 (68-29).
Kennedy Kunce, who scored 25 in last Saturday's win over Porterville, led the Cougars again with 14 points. Graham finished with 10 points.
Emilee Davidson, who scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Porterville, struggled with just four points.
While the Cougars had just nine field goals, the Giants had 31. Fortunately the Giants committed 22 fouls that sent the Cougars to the line for a 16-of-30 night, well below their average of 64 percent. By contrast, COS was 5-of-6 from the line.
The Giants showed why they are one of the best teams in the state with their quickness and speed. Many of TC's 30 turnovers were forced by the Giants' aggressive defense.
COS, which improved to 3-0 in the conference and 18-3 overall, had four players in double figures. Five players hit three-pointers.
"All we can do now is get ready for Saturday and have a better showing," Taylor said.
The next home game for TC (1-1 CVC, 7-9 overall) is next Wednesday when West Hills-Lemoore comes to town.