Playing at home with a chance to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships, the Mustangs knocked off Big 8 Conference League rival Sierra 70-66 to advance out of the NorCal Regional.
“It is very difficult to beat any team three times,” said head coach Gina Johnson about facing a league rival for the third time this season with a state championship spot on the line. “We both know each other so well. We had a really great third quarter, which showed a lot about our tenacity and perseverance and overcoming obstacles.”
With a narrow two-point lead at halftime, the Mustangs outscored the Wolverines 23-17 in the third quarter to open up a 55-47 lead going to the fourth quarter.
“I’m really excited for the girls. They have worked really hard this year knocked off and we have had a lot of different injuries and overcome them. Tonight we battled. I thought knocked off hard and really wanted this game. The girls really wanted it and they played for each other tonight and that’s all you can ask for as a coach,” said Johnson.
Sankia Braxton led the way with 19 points and 17 rebounds, while Paiton Demps added 13 points for a Mustangs side that did not have its best shooting night — but made up for it with its effort on the defensive side of the ball.
“We are all just so excited to get to and experience state,” said Demps after the game.
Donwanae Anthony also had a double-double in the victory as she scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“I always tell them that our best basketball is ahead of us and I think next week that we will play better,” said Johnson.
With their preseason goal of making it back to the state tournament now accomplished the Mustangs will look to advance to the Final Four for the first time since making it in back-to-back years in 2014 and 2015.
As the number three seed from the north, the Mustangs will now take on the number two seed from the South, Los Angeles Trade Tech, in the quarterfinals on March 15 at 3:00 p.m. With a win, they would advance to the semifinal the following day at 5:00 p.m. while the championship game is scheduled for March 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Defeating Los Angeles Trade Tech 81-65 the Mustangs advanced to the Final Four but came up two wins shy of a state championship as they were defeated in the state semifinals by Diablo Valley.
The men’s team saw its season come to an end with an 85-77 loss to Sequoias.
Jimmy Beltz scored a team-high 19 points while Spencer Monteiro, 15 points, and Cameron Pieters, 12 points, also both were in double figures in the loss.
The loss ends a fantastic season for the team as they captured a Big 8 Conference championship while going 23-7 on the year.