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Vikings basketball cinches quarterfinals game against Ventura, advance to semifinals

The+Vikings+huddle++before+their+game+against+the+Ventura+Pirates+in+Ventura%2C+CA%2C+on+March+15%2C+2019.+The+Vikings+won+59-57.+%28Alex+Martin%2FThe+Inquirer%29
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Vikings basketball cinches quarterfinals game against Ventura, advance to semifinals

The Vikings huddle  before their game against the Ventura Pirates in Ventura, CA, on March 15, 2019. The Vikings won 59-57. (Alex Martin/The Inquirer)

The Vikings huddle before their game against the Ventura Pirates in Ventura, CA, on March 15, 2019. The Vikings won 59-57. (Alex Martin/The Inquirer)

The Vikings huddle before their game against the Ventura Pirates in Ventura, CA, on March 15, 2019. The Vikings won 59-57. (Alex Martin/The Inquirer)

The Vikings huddle before their game against the Ventura Pirates in Ventura, CA, on March 15, 2019. The Vikings won 59-57. (Alex Martin/The Inquirer)

Alex Martin, Staff Member

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The Diablo Valley College women’s basketball team started off strong in the California Community College Athletic Association State Quarterfinals, winning their first game by a final score of 59-57. It was a nail biter game for both sides, but ultimately the Vikings got the victory.

The Vikings got off to a little bit of a slow start as at the end of the first quarter, as they trailed the Pirates 16-14. Forward Leilani Moncrease was the leading scorer at the half with 11 points.

“Just taking available shots and jumpers,” Moncrease said. “Whatever was open was what I tried to take. Not to be selfish or anything, just take open shots.”

Conference MVP Zahria Hendrix got into foul trouble early with three fouls, but as she quickly made adjustments in the second half, Hendrix did not have a single foul.

“Just trying to play extremely smarter and just cover all the basics on defense,” Hendrix said. “Not trying to go for too many steals and do anything other than the fundamental of what we do man to man.”

In the start of the third quarter, the head coach for the Ventura Pirates had to step out due to his wife having a seizure.

“My first thoughts are to Coach Mircetic and his family,” Head Coach Ramaundo Vaughn said. “His wife had a seizure during the game and it really puts into perspective that we’re blessed to have our health and to be able to do what we love. It’s really what I’ve been thinking about since the game was over.”

Guard Sierra Smith took over the game in the second half as she was the leading scorer overall with 22 points. Her game really improved as Smith was a pivotal force in the Vikings victory.

“Shooting the three ball. My teammates were driving and dishing it to me and I just shot what was open,” Smith said. “Especially Daisha (Abdelkader). I mean she gets in there and beats our defender.”

In the fourth quarter, guard Jahnay Anderson threw up two huge free throws that ultimately were the winning shots for the Vikings.

“We are built for these moments,” Hendrix said. “Even though it was closer than we like to, at the end of the day, when it comes to the battle of toughness, we win that battle.”

With this victory, the Vikings now move into the final four teams left in the CCCAA Big 8 Conference.

“I think the most we’ll take out of this is working hard and just getting here,” Anderson said. “We took it one game at a time throughout the whole season and it got it this far, and I think it can get us farther.”

Vikings will now head into tomorrow ready to take on the San Joaquin Delta Mustangs in the semifinals matchup. That game will start at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.

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Alex Martin, Staff member

Staff member, Spring 2019

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Vikings basketball cinches quarterfinals game against Ventura, advance to semifinals