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Valley Greets Ex-Coach, Sends Him Packing, 64-51

Women's basketball: Monarchs bounce John Taylor, Antelope Valley from playoffs.


VALLEY GLEN — John Taylor's return to Valley College was spoiled by his former team, as the Monarchs defeated Antelope Valley, 64-51, in a first-round Southern California women's basketball playoff game Saturday.

Taylor coached 12 seasons at Valley, including seven as head coach, until resigning in May to become Antelope Valley's coach.

"It was awkward coming in," Taylor said. "I'm disappointed we lost, but I'm happy for Mike [Muro, Taylor's successor and former assistant.]"

The 10th-seeded Monarchs (23-12) took control midway through the second half, breaking a 38-38 tie with six consecutive points. Freshman guard Itricia Ewells began the spurt by making two free throws, followed by a lay-up.

Marauder center Shalon Fields ended the drought with a layup. Valley responded with five consecutive points on Tynisha Howze's free throw, and baskets by Liliana Ramirez and Howze for a 49-40 advantage with 7:30 to play. The Monarchs led by at least seven for the remainder of the game.

"We had our chances to win," Taylor said. "That's all you can ask for."

Antelope Valley (19-15) came in with a 36.7 shooting percentage but shot only 23.0% against Valley, making 17 of 74 shots. Freshman forward Kristel Jones, the Marauders' leading scorer with a 16.3 average, missed 18 of 21 shots, sophomore forward Chawonda Barris missed 13 of 15 shots and freshman guard Jameka Taylor missed her nine attempts.

Despite shooting 25.6% in the first half, making 10 of 39 shots, and missing nine of 13 free throws, Antelope Valley trailed only 32-25 at halftime.

The Marauders remained within striking distance, holding the Monarchs to one basket and four free throws over the first seven minutes of the second half. A three-point basket by sophomore guard Tina Carrillo began a 7-0 run, tying the score, 38-38, with 11:30 left.

Carrillo, Antelope Valley's leading three-point shooter and considered by Taylor the team's smartest player, missed the final 10:24 of the first half and the first 4:05 of the second half after being cut above her right eye during a scramble for a loose ball.

Ewells scored 28 points, sophomore guard Michelle Tompkins scored 13 and freshman forward Michelle Duncan had 10.

Valley advanced to a second-round game at No. 7-seeded Irvine Valley (21-10) on Wednesday.

The Monarchs committed 33 turnovers, including 13 by Ewells, but outrebounded Antelope Valley, 49-41. Ramirez had a game-high 12 rebounds and Duncan had 10.


Southern California regional basketball playoff roundup, D20.

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