GLENDALE — Making it to the consolation championship at the Glendale College Holiday Tournament, College of the Canyons women’s basketball gave Alan Hancock all it could handle for 40 minutes on Friday.
Shooting 53.8 percent from the field as a team in the first quarter, Canyons guards McKenzie Stoehr and Alexis Orellana led the Cougars charge, finding each other and combining to score 12-of-16 points for Canyons.
COC controlled the pace of the game, only trailing by one point briefly in the second quarter, and won its second-straight game by double-digits: 64-45 to be named the Glendale College Holiday Tournament consolation champions.
“I think we fought through the Ventura game, a game that we should have won,” Orellana said. “…but I do think that was the best game we have played all season so it shows even though it’s halfway through the season we still have so much more to get better since Ventura is considered one of the top teams. Winning the next two games just showed that we didn’t let the loss beat us down and proved that we belong in this tournament and look like a top team.”
Orellana finished the game with 14 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Canyons forward Janeth Cruz got into some foul trouble in the second quarter after picking up her second foul two minutes into the quarter, and her third with one minute remaining in the quarter.
With one of their go-to scorers in foul trouble, Orellana and Stoehr continued putting up points as Orellana found Stoehr for basket-to-basket outlet passes on two different occasions.
“I just feel like I get more of a thrill out of getting everyone involved,” Orellana said. “I like scoring and everything, but I feel like when it’s a team effort it’s more exciting and it kind of brings the momentum up and everyone starts doing their part.”
Stoehr was 6-of-8 from the field finishing with 13 points for Canyons (10-6 overall).
At the half, Canyons held a 30-24 lead.
Sophomore Shauna Van Grinsven picked up the scoring for the Cougars, scoring seven points in the third quarter after going scoreless in the first half.
Building an 11-point lead after three quarters of play, Canyons had the ability to rest its starters for the majority of the fourth quarter, getting valuable minutes from bench players Krystal Amato, Kaitlin Eells, Regina Mahawan, Lexi Corona, Shayla Johnson and Bernie Macedo to extend the lead and defeat Alan Hancock (6-5) by 19 points.
“It just shows a team effort,” Orellana said. “We have the starters who push through and try getting a lead and we want to get everyone involved because we all put in the same effort. We all go to practice and we all go to games so we all deserve a chance.”
The Cougars are off until Thursday when they pick play back up in the 7th Annual East Los Angeles College Husky Classic against LA Harbor at 7 p.m.