Women pick up two key victories

Leanne Cave

After picking up two key victories on the road against Glendale and Citrus College, the Bakersfield College women’s basketball team will return to Gil Bishop Sports Center tonight to face the West Los Angeles College.

At this point, the ‘Gades are 12-13 overall and 4-3 in the Western State Conference and are in “dire straits” to win a good percentage of the games remaining on the schedule if they hope to participate in postseason play.

“We are right on the bubble as far as postseason play is concerned,” said head coach Paula Dahl.

The thought of being “on the bubble” as well as being a little defensive about a 111-92 loss to conference leading College of the Canyons on Jan. 21 may have inspired the ‘Gades to play well on the road.

“We have to play our game,” Stephanie Roberts, BC sophomore guard/forward, said after the Canyons game. “We can’t let up on defense and make the game count offensively.”

The ‘Gades did just that at Glendale on Jan. 25 by posting a 71-57 win to even their conference record at 3-3 and remain in the running for a shot at a postseason berth.

In the Glendale victory, LaShay Bagsby and Sarah Ortiz were impressive as they each scored 14 points. The duo also dominated on the boards as Bagsby grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked seven shots. Ortiz added 14 rebounds for BC. Sarah Furtak, freshman guard from North High, contributed to a well-rounded performance with a dozen points.

And the ‘Gades weren’t finished as they continued to work on the road, beating Citrus College 54-51 on Jan 28. “The Citrus game was a must win,” Dahl said.

Against Citrus, Bagsby made it two games in a row of scoring a double-double for BC, dropping in 11 points and matching the points with 11 rebounds. Bagsby’s effort along with excellent defense by sophomore guard/forward Sharrel Washington and key free throws by Roberts sealed the season-saving victory.

Roberts stepped up when it counted offensively, sinking two free throws with just seconds left to lift the ‘Gades conference record to 4-3.

“The ladies have done a great job,” Dahl said. Along with the efforts of Bagsby and Roberts, Maddi Padgett, a freshman from North, and Sharrel Washington, a sophomore from Patterson, are progressing well. “Washington has played very well defensively for us. We have a very talented team, we’re pretty young so this will be a great year to develop and come together,” Dahl continued.

The youth showed a bit against College of the Canyons when the ‘Gades couldn’t overcome the run-and-gun offensive performance of the Cougars, losing 111-92. The ladies from Canyons were on fire as they managed to score 90 points or better for the fifth straight game.

Tonight’s game against West L.A. starts at 5:30 p.m.