By Ellen Yoshitsugu
City College’s women’s basketball team looks good in preseason play. Winning the state title is “definitely an attainable goal this year,” Coach Derek Lau said of his team that is ranked 6th in the state.
“We’re definitely experienced and we’re very sophomore heavy. Winning our conference last year and making a playoff push is definitely propelling us this year,” he added.
The clear stand-out player is No.20, Talo Li-Uperesa, a team member from last year. She was a second team All-State player and the conference MVP last season, Coach Lau said. But the team overall is good.
Coach Lau noted that the team has a host of experienced sophomores. So far, in pre-season, Li-Uperesa’s 20 points per game is followed by Amira Lama and Teuila Tuiasosopo with 11 and 9 each.
He said they have a good freshman class that came in, highlighting several freshmen that are making a good impact, including Deanna Mayfield and Tausala Church, who is the starting guard.
The Rams’ basketball season opened with a series of three-day tournaments that began on Nov. 17.
In the Sasha Brown Classic Tournament at Sierra College, the Lady Rams beat the Lassen Cougars 71-51, lost to the Butte Roadrunners 60-54, and beat the Chabot Gladiators 76-51 for the tournament title.
Li-Uperesa scored 25 points in the game against Lassen, helped by Stacy Angel-Haro with 6, and Jaden Roan with 5. There was more double digit scoring by Li-Uperesa (13) and Tuiasosopo (10) in the Ram’s loss to Butte. In the win against Chabot, Tuiasosopo scored 17 points followed by Amira with 16, and Li-Uperesa with 13.
Shortly thereafter, the Rams continued their trek in tournament play with success. They captured the Napa Valley College Tournament crown with a 72-50 against Sierra College on Dec. 4. Tuiasosopo was named to the All-Tournament Team and Li-Uperesa earned Most Valuable Player honors.
A week later in the Dec.8-10 L.A. Valley College Tournament, the Rams lost their opening game to Cypress College 58-53 in overtime. Li-Uperesa led Rams scorers with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Tournament play ended with the Golden Gate Classic from Dec. 15-17.
Before the Christmas holiday, the Lady Rams will play at home Wednesday, Dec. 21 on the Brad Duggan Court against San Jose City College. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.
To close out December play, the Lady Rams meet West Hills-Lemoore for a 6 p.m. home game on Dec.29. The next day, they take on Feather River College for another home game at 2 p.m.
At press time, the Rams had an overall 7-2 non-conference record.