Mustangs’ win Mancebo Classic championship

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Delta College women's basketball
Delta College women's basketball team poses for a group picture after capturing the Jocelyn Mancebo Classic championship. Photo by Paul Muyskens

Starting the season by hosting the Jocelyn Mancebo Classic the Mustangs opened the season in dominating fashion as they defeated Big 8 rival Sierra 80-61 in the championship game last Sunday afternoon.

“It’s exciting that we beat them and beat a Big 8 rival,” said head coach Gina Johnson after the championship game win. “They are always a tough team to play and we learned some things that we need to work on because we had some struggles but I am excited about moving forward and getting better.”

Struggling with their transition defense in the opening quarter the young Mustangs squad found themselves trailing after the first quarter 28-22 before the game went into halftime tied 38-38.

Despite dealing with foul trouble the Mustangs took control after halftime as they outscored the Wolverines 30-12 in the third quarter on the way to the 19-point win.

Donja Payne led the way with a double-double as she scored 22 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Freshman Alicia Jones added 19 points while Sarah Ruiz came off the bench and scored ten points.

In a tournament that featured three of the top five teams in the CCCWBCA North Region preseason poll the Mustangs, ranked third, made a case for their ranking being too low as No. 2 Merced lost earlier in the tournament to No. 4 Sierra.

Earlier in the tournament, the Mustangs defeated Merritt 111-34 and Feather River 115-51. In the season-opening win over Merritt it was Vanessa Cochrane who led the scoring off the bench as she scored a game-high 28 points and was one of six Mustangs’ to score in double figures.

Cochrane also had a big second game once again coming off the bench with 23 points while Alicia Jones scored a game-high 27.

They will be back in action at the Sky Jag Tournament in the Bay Area on Nov. 15 where they will take on Lassen.