Eight seconds on the game clock and you are losing by one. Your best player receives the inbound pass and takes it from end to end to make a great shot, as she has done countless times before.
For Coach Dyan Miller, this seemed like the most logical play of the game Friday night against the Los Angeles Trade Tech Techsters in the first round of the Western State Conference Southern California regional tournament at LATTC.
Denisha McCoy did exactly what was planned, but what was not planned, was the push in the back as she drove in and missed the shot attempt. That was it. The 20-12 season was now over for the Vaqueros.
After the game Miller said, “We played really hard out there tonight, but, we just came up a little short at the end.” She continued, “The game should have been decided by the players not by the official.”
The Vaqueros had a chance with 30 seconds to go in the game, but a broken play to Nabossa Basse, who had 20 points nine rebounds and one assist, was too much for the Vaqueros to overcome.
The season, that at one point looked dim for the program was far from that. The Vaqueros fought the entire season with only seven players on the team.
The Vaqueros even had to compete with six players in one game due to a knee injury to Arpi Babakhanyan. The Vaqueros, finished second in the WSC south division, tied with College of the Canyons.
“Just because we lost this game doesn’t mean the season was a failure. We were 20-11 this season, which was the best record in school history, which I thought would give us a first-round home game” said Miller.
The women this season were led by guard Denisha McCoy, who had 14 points in the season finale, and averaged 14.5 points and over four steals a game. Danielle Johnson complemented McCoy’s first team all conference play averaging over nine points and two steals a game.
The post was solid all year with play from Basse and Kelly Patterson. Basse made all conference first-team averaging 15.7 points 8.2 rebounds a game. Patterson was given honorable mention, averaging 11 points and eight rebounds for the season.
“These girls played tough for 40 minutes every game,” said assistant coach Dave Wilder. “I think we were snubbed not getting a first-round home game, but there is nothing that we could do about it.”
“We put ourselves in a position late in the game where we should have not. They out-hustled us in the first half, and we made some costly errors down the stretch, but all in all we played well.
“Dyan has done a great job with these girls all season long, and it shows every day we are together. I am so happy that I have the privilege of coaching with Dyan Miller.”
Miller said she looks forward to the off-season, where she will be doing heavy recruitment to strengthen the program.
The Vaqueros will only have two players returning with Arpi Babakhanyan and Johnson. Exiting will be McCoy, Basse, Patterson and Kelley Hood.
The men also fell in their first round game 97-88 to top ranked San Bernardino College Saturday night. Mark Felder led the Vaqueros with 27 points and Germaine Dixon contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Felder and Sophomore Justin Turman were named to the all-WSC first-team last week and Dixon was named honorable mention.