Lady Griffs look for strong finish to season

Jimmy Spillane

GROSSMONT COLLEGE– Guard Stevi Cooper led the way with 22 points as the Griffins routed Palomar College 67-41 in a women’s basketball game Wednesday evening, Feb. 8. The victory, which brought their season record to 14-13, illustrates how the Griffins have  the ability to bounce back after a tough loss thanks to strong coaching and great team camaraderie.

Last year the  team  went 20-8 and tied for the Pacific Coast Conference championship, and four players returned this year from the starting lineup: Cooper, Ashleigh King, Nicole Harris, and Angel Limbo.  However, the team suffered a big loss when starter and all conference guard Ashleigh King went down due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The Griffins have held it together thanks in part to their teamwork and resiliency. Added to this year’s starting lineup were freshmen Shantae Woods and Sam Silva

Grossmont head coach Karen Caires stated “this team has speed, pressures the ball for 40 minutes, and likes to win.”  Nevertheless, The Griffins this year have had some unfortunate losses, none more so than a heartbreaker  to Mesa College. The game was tied until center Andrea Bird hit a free throw to give the Griffins a one point lead with less than a second to go. The crowd assuming the game was over rushed the court and Grossmont was assessed a technical foul. Mesa College then sunk two free throws giving them the victory that left the Griffins in a state of shock.   According to Forward Nicole Harris ”The Mesa loss was the most devastating because the team had nothing to do with it and it was unfair”

Although the Griffins have been shorthanded all season they have found a way to win their share of games and recover from bitter defeats. Their biggest win came against Imperial Valley, which was a quality opponent that came right after the upset loss to Mira Costa College.  The game see-sawed back and forth with  several ties and lead changes. The Griffins’ ability to get rebounds and second-chance opportunities eventually gave them the upper hand in a 71-68 nailbiter.  Harris said she felt it would go the Griffins’ way, “ I knew we were going to rebound and not lose to Imperial Valley.”

The Griffins have two more games left on their schedule visiting Southwestern College and hosting San Diego City College. When Harris was asked how they would fare she smiled and said simply “We’ll demolish anyone left in our path.” If the most recent game against Palomar College was any indication truer words have never been spoken.

Spillane is a student in Media Comm 132A.  He may be reached at [email protected]