By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
VENTURA, Calif. — College of the Canyons closed out the long holiday weekend with an 84-74 win over Santa Monica College to finish in third place at the three-day Ventura College-Kiwanis Tournament held Nov. 23-25.
Canyons (4-2) cruised to 94-47 blowout victory over Taft College in Friday's opener. With its patented fast-paced attack, COC opened up an early 20-7 advantage to set an early tone, then caught fire in the second quarter behind 12 bench points from sophomore Kaitlin Eells.
Eells, who finished with 16 points, was one of three Cougars to score in double figures. Cristian Patron ended her night with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds across 24-minutes off the bench. Sophomore Alexis Orellana scored 16 points and dished out eight assists in the winning effort. Janeth Cruz had 10 points and eight rebounds in the contest.
On Saturday, COC faced a top-ranked Mt. San Antonio College team that was able to escape with a tight 62-60 victory, its second of the season vs. COC. The Mounties also got past Canyons in the season opener by a 62-54 final score. In Saturday's game, the Lady Cougars took a 29-19 lead into the halftime locker room, but were outscored 23-8 in what proved to be a decisive third frame.
Orellana was magnificent again with a 34-point scoring outburst that came by way of a 12-of-29 shooting night. She also recorded seven rebounds and two assists in the game. McKenzie Stoehr was next with nine points, while Cruz and Patron helped control the boards with 13 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Canyons was able to respond with an 84-74 bounce-back win over Santa Monica, behind a game-high 19 points from Stoehr. Patron posted another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. Orellana continued her strong showing with 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Shauna Van Grinsven was also a force with seven points and 12 rebounds. Bernie Macedo led the reserves with 10 points and four boards.
The win over SMC allowed Canyons to clinch the tourney's third place spot, while Orellana was honored with a selection to the all-tournament team.
Canyons will now head north to compete at the College of Sequoias/Gilgrest Tournament Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The Lady Cougars are slated to meet Mission College at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
—Photo courtesy of Ventura College Athletics