By Jesse Muñoz
For The Signal
College of the Canyons women’s golf is champion of the Western State Conference (WSC) for the ninth time in program history, and first since 2014, after claiming a 28-stroke team victory over second-place Santa Barbara City College at Alisal River Golf Course on Monday.
COC also saw freshman Haruka Koda claim the individual conference title after battling back from six shots behind a two-day score of 151 (75/76) and top runner-up Stephanie Farouze at 152 (69/83). Farouze’s round of 69 during Sunday’s opening round was not enough to hold back the hard-hitting Canyons freshman who had earned medalist honors at four tourneys heading into the conference finals.
Koda also finished the season first in the season standings with a combined score of 670 strokes over 162 holes (nine rounds) of conference play.
Canyons freshman Jessie Lin (155-78/77) tied for third overall at the WSC Finals, equaling the performance turned in by Georgia Shevitt (155-80/75) of Moorpark. Lin also placed second in the season standings with a combined score of 691 over nine events.
COC sophomore Joanna Roecker was fifth overall (159-78/81) and Paige Heuer (163-82/81) finished in sixth place.
In a sign of COC’s dominance this season, sophomore Gina Chung (170-83/87) placed 10th overall at the event but had her score dropped from the team total. Shabana Poswal (192-96/96) also had her score scratched for the Cougars.
In addition to Koda’s individual championship, Roecker, Heuer, Lin and Chung were each named to the All-WSC team.
In the team standings, Canyons carded a four-player, two-day score of 628 (313/315) to best second-place Santa Barbara (656-320/336) and third-place Bakersfield College at (760-389/371).
Canyons finished the regular season undefeated, having won every WSC event as well as the annual Morro Bay North-South Invitational, which attracted a field of 14 top programs from around the state.
COC will now advance to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Championships which will also be played at Alisal River Golf Course over two days on Nov. 4-5.
A total of nine teams will compete in the regional championship with the top four teams advancing to the state championship tournament Nov. 11-12 in Morro Bay.
Men’s Basketball Tips at ‘Clash at Canyons’
The 2018-19 COC men’s basketball season gets underway at the two-day ‘Clash at Canyons’ Tip-Off event being held Nov. 1st and 3rd at the Cougar Cage.
Canyons will square off vs. East Los Angeles College at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Prior to that, Glendale College will do battle with Oxnard College beginning at 3 p.m.
The two winners will then face each other in the tourney’s championship game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. A third-place game will take place at noon on Saturday.
COC returns three players from last year’s squad which finished as runner-up in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division. The Cougars posted an overall record of 14-14 and 5-3 vs. conference opponents to qualify for the postseason.
Sophomore forward Anthony Simone was an All-WSC Honorable Mention for the Cougars a year ago after finishing third on the team with 10.4 points per game and a team-high 60.1 shooting percentage. His 4.4 rebounds were fourth on the team. Simone also recorded a team-high 29 blocks over 28 games. In conference games, the freshman scored at a rate of 14.6 points per game and posted a 63 percent shooting percentage and ranked second in WSC with 2.1 blocks per game.
Also back for COC head coach Howard Fisher’s squad is sophomore guard Jude Agbasi (8.2 points and 1.3 assists per game) and Davis Williams (2.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game).
The trio of returners will be joined by a talented group of freshmen including local products Chris Joo (West Ranch), Zach Phipps (Saugus), Denzel Nwanguma (Golden Valley) and Josué Valencia (Canyon).
East L.A. begins the season as the No. 2 ranked team in the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCMBCA) pre-season poll. The Huskies finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 24-6 overall record and 9-1 mark in the South Coast Conference, North Division to also qualify for postseason play.
Canyons will host a total of 10 regular season home games during the 2018-19 season including the annual ‘Cougar Holiday Classic’ tournament being held Dec. 28-29. In all, the Cougars will play in five tournaments to begin the season.
WSC games are slated to begin Wednesday, Jan. 23, with the Cougars traveling to take on Bakersfield College to kick off the eight-game conference schedule.
Lady Cougars Compete at Mt. SAC Tip-Off
The COC Lady Cougars begin their season at the Linda G. Smith Memorial Tip-Off Classic hosted by Mt. San Antonio College Nov. 2-4 in Walnut.
Canyons will take on the host Mounties at 7 p.m. on Friday in the tourney’s final contest of the first day. COC and Mt. SAC will be joined by West L.A., Rio Hondo, Citrus, San Bernardino Valley, Saddleback and Long Beach City College in the tournament field.
Canyons head coach Greg Herrick returns three players from last year’s team, which finished with a 16-11 overall record and 7-1 mark in conference play to share a co-WSC, South Division Championship with West L.A. College.
COC sophomore guard Alexis Orellana (9.1 points, 3.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds per game) is joined by forwards Janeth Cruz (four points and eight rebounds per game) and Shauna Van Grinsven (1.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game) to form the core of returners. Local players Krystal Amato (Canyon), Danny Diaz (Saugus), Reagan McKeever (Hart) and Lexi Corona (Hart) are also featured on the roster.
COC will compete in a number of tournaments around the state before playing its first home game on Friday, Jan. 4. The Lady Cougars will host a total of five regular season home games in 2018-19, with conference play set to begin Jan. 30.
2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Class Announced
The COC Athletics Department has announced its 2019 Hall of Fame class of inductees, with the college’s next Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony taking place Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
The 2019 class of inductees includes:
1983 State Championship Baseball Team
2001 State Championship Women’s Golf Team
Dolores ‘Dody’ Garcia — Meritorious Service
Len Mohney — Player/Coach (Baseball) and Administrator (Athletic Director/Dean)
“Once again, the Hall of Fame committee has done a tremendous job of selecting student-athletes, coaches and teams that have left a significant mark on the Athletic Department and our community,” said Chuck Lyon, Dean of Physical Education, Kinesiology, Athletics & Athletic Director. “These teams and individuals will now be honored for exemplifying the ideals of what it means to be a College of the Canyons Cougar.”
Tickets to the COC Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony are $100 per guest, with all proceeds benefiting the college’s athletic programs.
As in past years, friends, colleagues, family members and former teammates of the inductees are encouraged to help honor this year’s class. Attendees are kindly asked to RSVP prior to Jan. 12, 2019.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the 2019 COC Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, please visit COCfoundation.com or call (661) 362-3434.