Monterey Peninsula’s women’s basketball team beat Hancock College in Hancock’s tournament last year. The Bulldogs were looking to even the score Friday night.

They did.

The host team (3-7) roared back from a nine-point halftime deficit and beat the Lobos 80-69 at Joe White Memorial Gymnasium for its second straight win. The Bulldogs play Western State Conference rival Oxnard at 5 p.m. tonight for the championship of the Lady Bulldog Classic.

“We wanted this win,” said Hancock freshman forward Chrissy Bessermin after she made 10 of her 11 shots from the field, scored 26 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

“We said ‘This is OUR tournament, and we’re going to take it.’”

The Bulldogs took the game from the Lobos (6-3) Friday night thanks to scoring 48 points in the second half. “That was our best half this season,” said Bessermin.

Oxnard downed East Los Angeles 57-43 in the other winner’s bracket game Friday. In the consolation bracket, Saddleback beat Cuesta  49-41 and Las Positas defeated San Diego Mesa 66-60.

East Los Angeles and Monterey Peninsula will play at 3 p.m. today for third place. Saddleback and Los Positas will play at 1 for the Consolation championship.

Ashley Bonenfant, effectively darting inside, made some timely layups for Hancock in the second half and wound up with 18 points. Jozza Ray scored 14 points and Chelsea Mitchell added 10.

The Bulldogs shook off huge games by Monterey Peninsula guard Rochelle Welsh and forward Natasha Ray. Welsh tossed in 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Natasha Ray put in 21 points and snared 15 rebounds. Annette Ruvalcaba added 15 points for the Lobos.

Hancock won Friday night thanks to second half proficiency in two areas that, judging by the first half, were the last two phases the Bulldogs figured to come up big in – rebounding and free throws.

The Bulldogs made two of their eight foul shots in the first half. They sank six of their last eight in the game. Mitchell, Bessermin and Jozza Ray all sank two free throws in the last 3:03 as Hancock salted the game away.

The Lobos’ rebounders caught the Bulldogs flat-footed in the first half. Monterey Peninsula out-rebounded Hancock 25-9, and scored 14 second-chance points, then.

Bessermin led a key Hancock rebounding surge that led to eight second-chance Bulldogs points in the last eight minutes.

“I think I was just anticipating (where the rebound would go) better,” Bessermin said after she was in the right place at the right time after intermission to grab missed shots.

Hancock took its first lead of the second half, at 47-46, when Brittany Garcia made a 10-footer with 14:29 to play. Bonenfant put the Bulldogs ahead for good at 56-55 with a layup after a steal.

The Bulldogs pulled away after Elena Moreno put them ahead 60-55 on a rebound basket with 7:59 left. Hancock scored on seven of its last 11 possessions. 

Oxnard 57, East Los Angeles 43

The Condors pulled away during the last 10 minutes and were all but home free after Stephanie Hernandez’s three-pointer put them ahead 50-35 with 6:25 left.

Arlene Cortez, Rose Nichols and Hernandez put in 14, 11 and 10 points respectively for the Condors  (8-2). Miriam Hernandez (18 points) and DaChell McBride (16) led the Huskies (6-4).

Saddleback 49, Cuesta 41

Johnondra Patterson scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Gauchos (6-5) moved into the Consolation championship game.

Raleigh O’Brien scored a game high 11 points for Cuesta (3-7).

Las Positas 66, San Diego Mesa 60

The Hawks (2-6) nursed a small lead throughout the second half and advanced to the Consolation title game.

Stefahnie Montanez and Stephanie Klinko scored 14 points apiece for Las Positas. Marreesha Lynch put in 12 and grabbed six rebounds.

Shelby Watson had 13 points and Annessa Jamison scored 11 for the Olympians (1-7). Watson snared seven rebounds.

Men’s Basketball

L.A. Valley 77, Hancock 72

At the Santa Barbara City College Tournament, in a consolation semi-final, the Bulldogs fell behind at the half and were unable to make a comeback.

The Monarchs (6-5) only led 37-34 at the break, but were able hold the lead throughout despite hot shooting by Hancock’s Jarrid Schroeder. The 6-3 freshman from Lenior, North Carolina was 7-for-12 behind the 3-point line and finished with 27 points.

Richard Easton, a freshman from Righetti High, added 13 points.

Hancock (0-8) will play next weekend at the College of Sequioas Tournament in Visalia.

The Bulldogs will host the Bulldogs Classic beginning on Monday, Dec. 28 at the Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.

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