SANTA ANA - The 2013 Santa Ana College Tournament got underway with the host Dons claiming a 70-45 victory over MiraCosta College, advancing them to the semifinals against Merced College.
The Dons (5-3) grabbed a quick 5-0 lead on a pair of baskets by Kelly Smit as she opened the game with a layup just seven seconds in before hitting a three-pointer. From there, MiraCosta (0-5) forced a 5-5 tie and a 7-7 tie, but the Dons would never trail in the game as they went on to a 38-21 lead at the half.
The 17-point lead at the half came on 14 points in the point as the Dons managed to just shoot 36% from the field in the half. But that shooting would improve in the second half, up to 42%, as Santa Ana went on to the 70-45 win. Ashley Whisler led scoring for the Dons with 13 points, just ahead of Smit with 12 while Jazmine Johnson and Trina Vargas added 11 points apiece.
The tournament opened with Moorpark College edging San Diego Mesa College 65-62 behind 27 points and 16 rebounds by Riley Abraham. West-Hills Lemoore followed with a 73-63 victory over Bakersfield College as the Eagles were led by Kalia Parker's 25 points. Moorpark and West Hills-Lemoore will face off in the semifinals at 6:00 p.m. on Friday while Mesa and Bakersfield will play in the first game of the consolation brackets.
The next semifinalist was decided when Merced College cruised to a 73-56 victory over College of the Desert as Sonji Green recorded 21 points and 15 rebounds. Finally, it was the Dons defeating MiraCosta to close out the night. Santa Ana will face Merced in the 8:00 p.m. semifinal while Desert and MiraCosta will face off at 4:00 p.m. in the consolation brackets.