After falling to Irvine Valley College in the semifinals Friday, the Monarchs beat fifth-ranked Ventura College to finish the tournament in third place.
By Edward Segal, Staff Writer
Building a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game, the Monarchs finished the Buddy’s All Star Classic strong, recovering from their double-digit loss to Irvine Valley College in the semifinals.
Following the loss to Ventura College (4-8) in the semifinals of the Tom Gilcrest Invitational, Valley College (5-5) exacted revenge on a short-handed Pirates squad by outrebounding them 47-32 and making 11 more shots. Coming into the game, Ventura only had seven players available, three of which stayed on the floor all 40 minutes. Being that it was the third straight day of action , this lack of depth took a toll on the Pirates’ overall energy level.
“We feel good about ourselves,” said assistant coach Rafael Camacho. “We didn’t play great but we played better. We accomplished a lot of our goals that we set going into the game. The margin of victory, part of it is the fact that they were very short-handed, but there’s things that we didn’t accomplish today that we wanted to that we’re still working on.”
The Monarchs came out of the gate on a 10-2 run, thanks to two 3-pointers from freshman guard Juliet Jaramillo, a player known across the Western State Conference for knocking down threes thanks to her 36.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc this season.
After Ventura cut the deficit to two at the end of the first quarter, Jaramillo hit another three to start the second frame, putting Valley back up by five.
The Pirates took the lead for a brief moment when sophomore guard Alyssandra Lacanilao made two 3-pointers of her own, but two layups from freshman guard/forward Leena Vo gave the Monarchs a lead they never blew.
“Their defense allowed us a little bit of space to move, maneuver and get some rebounds,” said Camacho. “Not being tall or super vertical, we need to be able to find space in the paint, near the basket, in order to get some rebounds.There was some space in there for us and we were able to do that.”
Ventura tied the game to start the second half with Lacanilao converting another shot from beyond the arc, but Valley quickly scored ten unanswered points, highlighted by Jaramillo’s fourth 3-pointer of the contest.
Sophomore guard Brianna Torres also hit a three during the run which was one of three she knocked down in the game.
Coming off of being held scoreless the night before, Torres not only put 14 points on the board, but also grabbed nine boards, got five assists and three steals in 32 minutes.
“She does a lot of things for us, many many many things,” said Camacho. “Her shots come not just from the set up that we have, but from her own effort of finding little spaces somewhere that she can get the ball and get her own shots. She gets credit not just for running the play but for finding her own space.”
Torres and Jaramillo both shined as the Monarchs cruised to their 62-41 victory.
In the fourth quarter, Jaramillo nailed one more trifecta for good measure, draining it from the corner with the defender running at her screaming “shot.”
On top of her 17 points and five rebounds, the veteran drew another offensive foul to add on to the two she drew against Irvine on Friday.
Proving to be Valley’s most lethal shooter, Jaramillo was named to the all-tournament team, the only Valley player to receive this honor.
“I sacrifice my body for the team,” said Jaramillo. “Everything I do is for the team. Whether it’s on offense or defense, it’s a team effort. Without my team I wouldn’t be able to do anything.”