by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
PASADENA – It was a tale of two bad halves for the Taft College women's basketball team in the Pasadena City College tournament.
In the opening round Friday afternoon, the Cougars were matched up with the host PCC Lancers who came out on fire, racing out to a 55-23 halftime lead and never looking back. The pace slowed a little in the second half but the final score was 85-45.
Pasadena is No. 4 in the preseason southern California rankings.
On Saturday, in a losers bracket game, the Cougars played Citrus College even over the first 20 minutes before tiring in the second half and losing 56-43.
The double loss keeps the Cougars winless in four outings headed into another tournament this weekend where they will be matched up with another southern California powerhouse.
TC will play the host school Friday in the first round of the Ventura Tournament of Champions.
Ventura is ranked second in the southern California preseason ratings.
Against Pasadena, Angie Banks was the top Cougar scorer with 12 points to go with her six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Freshman guard Carrie Graham had 11 points and four rebounds.
Synclaire Lucas had eight points and eight rebounds, Emilee Davidson six points and six rebounds, and Chantia Jones, Kennedy Kunce and Mariah Hernandez two points each.
Kunce pulled down five rebounds and Ashley Guardado four rebounds.
Pasadena had four players in double figures and out-rebounded the Cougars 58-37.
Kunce came alive in the Citrus game.
The sophomore from Taft High led the team with 18 points and 16 rebounds. She also had two assists and two steals.
Graham was in double figures again with 10 points, Emilee Davidson scored five points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Lucas had eight points.
The first half was a close battle with Citrus leading by a point (20-19) at the break.
Citrus kicked its offense into high gear in the second half, outpointing the Cougars 36-20.
College of the Sequoias, a member of the Central Valley Conference, won the tournament with Pasadena taking the consolation title.
COS leads the CVC in non-conference action with a 5-1 record, followed by defending champion Fresno and Porterville, both at 2-1. West Hills-Lemoore is 1-1, Merced 1-4 and Reedley and Taft both 0-4.