Taft College Cougars Women's Basketball

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Cougar Basketball Hosts Bakersfield College Friday
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
December 14, 2015

Two hungry women’s basketball teams will meet Friday afternoon in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center on the Taft College campus.

Host Taft College is 1-10 while visiting Bakersfield College is still looking for its first win after seven tries.

The Cougars tuned up for the 4 p.m. tipoff with its cross-county rival by losing two games in last weekend’s San Diego City College Tournament.

TC opened the tourney Friday by losing 67-53 to host San Diego City before being knocked out of the event the next afternoon with a 64-52 loss to previously winless Los Angeles Southwest.

The games were a contrast.

In the opening loss the Cougars took a 35-31 lead into the halftime break but were outscored 36-18 in the second half. Against L.A. Southwest, it was a poor first half (trailing 30-20) that doomed the Cougars.

Again, TC was plagued by poor shooting. The Cougars managed just 25 percent from the field against San Diego (35 percent) and 28 percent in the loss to Southwest (46 percent). The Cougars were much better at the free-throw line, sinking 83 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Sophomore guard Carrie Graham led the Cougar effort with 35 points, 14 rebounds, 8 steals, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Amber Vaughn scored 28 points and had 9 assists. Brittany Santoy scored 17 points and Whykella Haley grabbed 16 rebounds.

Rounding out the Cougars scorers were Dejunique Jeffries with 9 points, Elizabeth Mora with 7, Haley with 5 and Mariah Grantham with 4.

Bakersfield, meanwhile, has been spending time on the practice court. The Renegades last played on Dec. 4 when they lost to West Hills-Lemoore 77-68. It was the second time BC had lost to the Cougars’ Central Valley Conference foe. Lemoore beat BC on Nov. 17 by a score of 75-61.

After Friday afternoon’s game with BC, Taft will take the holiday break off and won’t return to the court until conference action begins on Jan. 6 with a trip to Reedley College. Fresno again looks like the team to beat.

The Rams are 7-2 while Lemoore is 9-4, Merced 8-6, Sequoias 6-6, Reedley 3-5 and Porterville 2-7.
Cougars Come Alive, Get First Basketball Victory
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
December 7, 2015

Poor shooting has dogged the Taft College women’s basketball team in its first eight games – all of them losses.

But on Saturday, in only their second home game, the Cougars found their shooting touch – especially from outside the three-point line – for a 72-60 victory over Compton College.

The Cougars, who on the season average 28 percent from behind the arc, sank 10 of their 11 tries Saturday night. That’s 91 percent.

“We really found our touch,” said head coach Tyrone Taylor. “That’s probably the best we’ve shot all season. We played well from start to finish. Our threes were falling, and that was the big difference. We made shots tonight – from the free-throw line and field.”

Hot shooting from behind the arc led to an overall 50 percent shooting night that offset the 12 of 33 two-pointers (36 percent). The Cougars were 16 of 29 (55 percent) from the free-throw line.

That’s slightly above of their season average of 51 percent.

The game was tight through the first quarter with the Cougars edging ahead 17-15 on Elizabeth Mora’s basket with 24 seconds left.

The Cougars had a hot second quarter thanks to five three-pointers – two each from freshman forward Mariah Grantham and point guard Amber Vaughn and one from Carrie Graham, who finished with a team-high 17 points.

Leading by a point at 24-23, the Cougars went on a 16-5 spurt that began with Grantham’s three with 5:07 left in the half and ended with Graham’s with 39 seconds left. In between, Vaughn hit back-to-back treys in a span of 25 seconds.

Taft led 40-28 at the break.

The Cougars kept up the pressure by outscoring Compton 20-12 in the third period fueled by a 13-1 start that gave TC its biggest lead at 53-29. A 7-0 run in the last 1:37 made it 60-40 heading into the final quarter.

TC was still up by 20 (67-47) when Compton finished with a 13-5 run. All TC points came from the line (5-of-12).

Vaughn and Mora each scored 13 points, Brittany Santoy and Grantham 9 apiece, Chantia Jones 7 and Whykella Haley 2. Vaughn and Grantham were 3-for-3 from behind the arc, Graham 2-for-3 and Santoy and Jones 1-for-1.

Mora, a 5-10 freshman forward from Firebaugh, had a good night rebounding with 13 while Graham had 8, Santoy 6, Jones 5, Vaughn and Haley 4 each, Grantham 3 and Dejunique Jeffries 2. Mora also had 2 blocks, Graham, Santoy and Vaughn 1 each.

Taylor hopes the first victory will give his team some bounce going into this weekend’s tournament at San Diego City College. The Cougars play the host team in the feature game Friday at 7 and either Los Angeles Southwest or Imperial Valley on Saturday.

“We’ve been playing hard all year,” he said. “It was good to see them have some success. It’s a big plus going into our next game.”

Cougar Hoops Drop Two in Merced Tournament
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
November 16, 2015

MERCED – Taft College women’s basketball team dropped two games in last weekend’s Merced College tournament.

The Cougars, still looking for their first win of the young season, dropped to 0-5 after losing to undefeated Foothill 72-38 and 2-and-4 Lassen 79-58.

Sophomore guard Carrie Graham was the only Cougar to score in double figures in both games with 13 against Foothill and 26 against Lassen. In the latter she was 7-of-16 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from three-point range and 10-of-14 free-throws.

Against Foothill the Cougars shot just 24.4 percent (11-of-45) from the field and 43 percent (9-of-21) from the free-throw line. They did better against Lassen with 30.6 (19-of-62) from the field and 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the line.

Amber Vaughn scored 15 points in the tournament.

The Cougars will take this week off before resuming action next Monday at San Diego Mesa College.