SANTA ANA - For the second time in three years, the Dons won their host tournament following their 93-87 win over San Bernardino Valley College. The Dons (7-3) had to hold off a late rally by the Wolverines (4-2) to secure the championship.
After the teams traded the lead several times through the first quarter, the Dons used a Taylor Ivicevic layup with 1:10 left to take a 26-24 lead before holding a 28-26 lead at the end of the quarter. Ivicevic had the early hot hand as she scored 13 points for the Dons in the first 10 minutes.
The Dons quickly extended their lead to 10 points on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes of the second quarter. SB Valley would, however, battle back to tie the game at 44-44 with 2:50 left in the half before Blaysen Varnadoe hit a three-pointer to put the Dons back on top. Varnadoe scored four more points before the end of the half as the Dons took a 51-45 lead into the break.
The Wolverines cut the Dons lead down to two in the first minute of the second half before the Dons pulled away to a 10-point lead at 7:38 on a Varnadoe layup. Later in the third, Amanda Sanchez hit a jumper for SAC to give the Dons their biggest lead of the game at 74-57 before Rachel Cain ended the third with a three-pointer that made the score 80-63.
But the Wolverines had a late rally in them as they slowly chipped away at the Dons lead in the final frame, getting as close as five points with 6:13 remaining. After the Dons built their lead back up to 10 points, SB Valley once again closed the gap to five points at 92-87 with a layup with 2:04 remaining.
However, that layup would prove to be the final basket the Dons would allow as they went on to win the game, and the tournament, by a score of 93-87.
Cain was named the Most Valuable Player while Varnadoe, who led all scorers with 31 points, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
West Hills College-Lemoore defeated Merced College 66-56 to win the Consolation Championship before Moorpark College defeated Santa Barbara City College 72-66 to take third place.
2015 Santa Ana College Tournament
Champion: Santa Ana College
Second Place: San Bernardino Valley College
Third Place: Moorpark College
Consolation Champion: West Hills College-Lemoore
Most Valuable Player: Rachel Cain, Santa Ana College
Blaysen Varnadoe, Santa Ana College
Ashley Carson, San Bernardino Valley College
Jaysheana Martinez-Williams, San Bernardino Valley College
Cydney Bolton, Moorpark College
Jordan Lasiter, West Hills College-Lemoore