Photo by Ed Beyer, PhD
LANCASTER - For the final three quarters of the game, the Marauder women's basketball team outplayed visiting and first-place LA Valley.
Unfortunately for the Marauders, they dug themselves too deep a hole in the first quarter and couldn't quite get over the hump as the Monarchs held on to a 58-54 victory over AVC, Wednesday evening at Marauder Gymnasium.
With the loss the Marauders dropped to two games behind LA Valley with three conference games remaining. AVC has to win out and hope the Monarchs slip up in at least two of their final three games to share a conference championship.
The victory for LA Valley broke an 11-game conference home winning streak for the Marauders dating back to Jan. 27, 2016 against College of the Canyons.
AVC slumped in the first quarter as it was outscored 19-5. LA Valley's Rebecca Islas scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter. The Marauders shot a dismal 2-of-17 from the field, 1-of-9 from 3-point range and 0-for-2 from the free throw line.
AVC woke up in the final three quarters by outscoring LA Valley in each of the final three.
The Marauders cut the lead to 45-38 entering the third quarter and opened the quarter with a 10-0 run to claim a 48-45 lead following a 3-pointer by Brieanna Perkins with 5:28 remaining. A 3-pointer by Deja Smith gave AVC a 51-47 lead with 4:28 remaining. However, the Monarchs closed on an 11-3 run to close the game.
AVC had an opportunity to tie the game, trailing 57-54, but Smith missed a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining and LA Valley secured the rebound to seal the victory. With a 13-12 overall record the Marauders have to hope some fortuitous things go their way in order to secure a playoff berth.