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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Huffhines scores 17 in the fourth quarter to set up third matchup against Diablo Valley

Brandy+Huffhines+%2811%29+knocks+down+a+jump+shot+over+Chabots+Angelina+Defranco+%2810%29+in+the+4th+quarter.+Photo+by+Sara+Nevis+%7C+Staff+Photographer+%7C+snevis.express%40gmail.com
Brandy Huffhines (11) knocks down a jump shot over Chabot’s Angelina Defranco (10) in the 4th quarter. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Jason Reed | Sports Editor | [email protected]

Brandy Huffhines scored 25 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the City College women’s basketball team defeat the Chabot College Gladiators 75–68 in the second round of the Northern California Regional playoffs.

“We just wanted to win so bad,” said Huffhines about her late-in-the-game 17 points. “My head was just in it, and my only focus was helping get my team to the next round.”

Unlike previous games in which the Panthers found themselves trailing, they were able to lead the charge the entire way against Chabot, forcing the Gladiators to play catch-up. The Panthers fell behind only once in the game—early in the second quarter when the Gladiators scored on three consecutive possessions in the paint to take an 18–12 lead. The Panthers then tied the score at 18, eventually took the lead and never surrendered it. They would go on to take a 1-point lead (29–28) into the half.

“We can go score with anybody,” said City College Head Coach Julia Allender. “We got it done, and we just stayed together. That was the biggest thing for this game. We just stayed together and rallied behind each other.”

The Panthers also had huge bench production from freshman guard Nanai Maui, who led the team with 7 points in the first half and finished with 12 points for the game. This was Maui’s second-highest scoring game since an ankle injury a little over a month ago.

Nanai Maui (24) splits the Chabot defenders, makes the jump shot, and finishes the game with 12 points in City’s 75-68 win in the 2nd round of the NorCal Regional Playoffs.

“You just got to have the heart to play that game,” Maui said on the team’s determination to close the game down the stretch. “You have to execute—we made the right plays and took the right shots and came away with the win.”

The Panthers bench finished with 16 points as sophomore forward Jasmine Ayon scored 4 to go along with three rebounds and a steal.

The Panthers’ largest lead came three minutes into the third quarter when freshman guard Johanna Lauderdale ignited a 7–0 run to give the Panthers a 57–50 lead after Chabot tied the score. Lauderdale finished with 19 points on 6-for-17 shooting, including five 3-pointers.

“Our game plan was to get a quick lead,” said Lauderdale, who had a hard time finding a rhythm throughout the first half but was able to get her shot going after starting just 2-for-8 from the field.

In the second half Lauderdale scored 13 of her 19 points, shot 4-for-9 and made a pair of free throws.

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Madison Coleman found herself in foul trouble in the first half and eventually fouled out in the second half. She had just 4 points at intermission and finished with 13 for the game. This was one of the rare times she did not lead the team in scoring as she had done in four of the previous five games.

Coleman emphasized the importance of Huffhines taking charge and closing the game.

Maddison Coleman (32) shoots over Mia Finnie (11) in the 2nd quarter against Chabot College finishing the game with 13 points.

“I told her (Huffhines) at halftime, out of all the games this is the game to show out,” Coleman said. “I had complete trust in her. When she shot the ball, I was back on defense.”

Coleman was also just two rebounds shy of her eleventh double-double of the season as she finished with eight rebounds.

Kayla Farr had just 2 points, but she led the Panthers on the defensive side of the ball, finishing with 12 rebounds.

After the game, Allender credited the role-players for their contributions.

“Obviously we know what we’re going to get from Johanna, Brandy and Madison, but to have two more kids that can be dynamic like that—I feel that’s going to be our make-or-break point.”

The Panthers now advance to the third round of the tournament, taking on the Diablo Valley College Vikings March 9. The Vikings won the Big 8 Conference Championship this year and are also responsible for beating the Panthers in both matchups this season.

The Panthers lost both games by only 12 combined points, losing by 6 in what were two closely contested games.

Maui said that DVC was the team the Panthers were looking forward to playing again, as the stain of two close losses still sticks with her and the team.

“We’re looking for their head,” she said. “They beat us twice, so in the third round, we’re coming for them.”

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