The next home game will be against Palo Alto College Oct. 28
By Alejandro Diaz
It was a disappointing start of the season for this college’s women’s basketball team as the Rangers lost their season opener to Victoria College 53-62 Wednesday in Candler Physical Education Center.
After trading baskets early in the first quarter, the Pirates’ pressure defense proved to be too much for the Rangers to handle, creating turnovers that helped Victoria take control of the game and never look back.
For the Rangers, center Cheyanne Baxa scored the first 4 points, providing an early lead that wouldn’t hold.
The score at the end of the first quarter was14-18 in favor of the visitors, thanks to Pirate Jaycie Orsak, who provided an energy spark that yielded two steals she turned into points.
The second quarter showed more of the same as the Rangers tried to stay in the game, but at the half they were down 31-26.
Victoria College entered the second half deciding to extend their lead. Proof of this came in three turnovers their pressure defense created, which extended their lead to 35-26. Then Baxa missed a 3-point play opportunity with a misplaced free throw with 7:45 left in the third quarter.
The game was high in intensity, which encouraged the crowd to cheer on the Rangers to reduce the gap in the score. At the end of the third quarter, however, the score was 49-41in favor of the visiting Pirates.
In the final quarter, despite the Rangers’ best efforts, Victoria College extended its lead as much as 13 points.
The Rangers didn’t back down, and after a fast break play finished by Baxa, they pulled within 7 points, giving them hope for the last four minutes. This didn’t last long as Victoria College’s Brittany Wallace answered with a great baseline drive and a layup that put them up by 9 points. The Rangers never got closer again.
For the Rangers, Baxa led the scoring with 14 points, but it was point guard Destiny Solis who stood out for her ball-handling skills and constant efforts to create opportunities for her teammates.
“I think we played hard; we didn’t just play against a team. I feel like we played against the refs, too,” Solis said. “We shouldn’t have let that distract us because we could’ve played a better game, but other than that we did really good.”
The Rangers suffered 23 fouls and the Pirates 19.
It was a tough way to start the season for the Rangers, but coach Haley Capestany sees room for improvement.
“They did a lot better than last year. I would say the team has improved,” Capestany said. “We didn’t get the win like I wanted, but it’s just a matter of working on the little things, and, hopefully, if we do that, we’ll go back and beat them.”
This season the team has four returning players in the 10-player roster, which gives them better team chemistry, Capestany said.
Returning players are Baxa, Heather Padilla, Alexa Mallen, and Aydrie Aguinaga.
The Rangers came out to warm up before the game started wearing pink T-shirts in support of breast cancer awareness.
The next game for the women’s team will be at the University of the Incarnate Word Oct. 21, and the next home game will be against Palo Alto College Oct. 28 in Gym 1 in Candler.