East County Sports

Spartans get first playoff win since 80s


By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

VALENCIA (2-28-2019) – There was a time when MiraCosta College actually fielded a fairly decent women’s basketball program. In fact, back in 1978 — the first season of state-sanctioned play — the Spartans reached the state semifinals under pioneer coach Roxanne de Mik.

Then a pair of major problems side-tracked the program.

In the early 80s, things got so bad that one day, all of the school’s volunteer scorekeepers and clock operators did not show up for a home game, forcing officials to ask the visiting team to be the official scorebook.

Incidents like this led to the demise of the program, which eventually folded.

MiraCosta officials returned the sport for the 2007-08 campaign, but with limited success. Although the ballclub twice finished third, then second, in its first four years in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, the team sank badly, going 0-23 just three years ago.

But look at the Spartans now!

Trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, MiraCosta rallied to shock host College of the Canyons, 70-69, in Wednesday’s (Feb. 26) CCCAA South regional playoff opener.

It’s the schools first postseason triumph in more than three decades since the mid-1980s.

Of course, such a major decision did not come easy, as the host Cougars had three chances to force overtime or win the game outright in the final seconds.

A foul with 4 seconds left gave Canyons a chance to tie, but they missed the first foul shot. Without a timeout to set-up an intentional miss, the Cougars made the second shot, so MiraCosta called a timeout, but immediately turned the ball over.

The first Canyons shot was blocked my MiraCosta’s Chynna Cochran, but the loose ball went straight to a Cougars player, who simply heaved the ball up to beat the buzzer. The shot missed and MiraCosta made school history.

Britney Jarvis led the Spartans with 20 points, while Cochran added 19, as MiraCosta (17-8) advance to Saturday’s second round No; 2 seed L.A. Trace-Tech (26-4).

Down 41-25 at the half, MiraCosta started a third-period run when Cochran scored 8 points, while Victoria Wilson came off the bench to add 6 more to move within 58-47. Then the visitprs utilized a 23-11 advantage in the fourth period to win it on 8 more Cochran points.

Canyons held a 68-63 lead at the 2-minute mark before the Spartans tallied seven straight points.

Britney Jarvis converted a layin off a Cochran assist with 1:39 remaining, then Cochran hit 1-of-2 foul shots to make it 68-66 with 1:19 left.

Cochran then stole the ball for an uncontested layin to tie the game with 12 seconds to go.

Seconds later, a foul by Canyons sent Victoria Wilson to the foul line, hitting both free throws for what turned out to be the game-winning points. Wilson finished with 12 points from off the bench, including a key 6-for-6 on foul shots.

Jarvis’ 20 points was her second-best effort of the season, topped only by her 24 against PCAC South Division champion Southwestern.

Cypress 73, Imperial Valley 50:  At Cypress (just west of Buena Park), the host Chargers out-scored the Lady Arabs in all four quarters to take Wednesday’s (Feb. 26) CCCAA South regional first-round contest at Don Johnson Arena.

Cypress (20-9) utilized its deep bench to win, led in scoring by reserves Tanya Carbajal (11 points) and Janei-Ruby Fuamatu (10).

For Imperial Valley (14-14), sophomore forward Destiny Salgado completed his career with the Lady Arabs in fine fashion with a solid double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Also for IVC, Raquel Perez added 10 points, Giovanna Estrada scored 9, while Keren Hogue posted another all-around effort with 8 points, 8 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals.

Cypress advances to meet 3rd-seeded East Los Angeles on Saturday in Monterey Park. The Huskies (24-4) finished as runner-up of the South Coast Conference North Division behind L.A. Trade-Tech.

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