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Eagles Women’s Basketball Win Both Eagle Invitational Games to Improve to 5-2

Hugo Aguilar

It’s a new era for the Lady Eagles basketball team. Following a 26-2 campaign last season, longtime coach Chris Mozga stepped down and handed the reins over to Taylor Bell who had served as an assistant coach for the Eagles’ Men’s basketball team the last six seasons. Under Mozga, the Eagles went 418-105 and won the CCCAA State Championship in 2018. Now Bell will be tasked with continuing the same success the Eagles saw under Mozga. 

In the first game of the Eagle Invitational, the 3-2 Eagles faced the 4-4 Skyline Trojans. The Eagles struggled with rebounds early on in the game and the Trojans capitalized off the Eagles’ slow start. It was 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, but early in the second quarter, it looked like the game was about to get out of hand for the Eagles. With under five minutes left until halftime, the Trojans had a 37-22 lead. With a 15-point lead over the Eagles, it looked like the Eagles were in for a long night, but the Eagles’ defense woke up and were finally getting stops. As a result, the Eagles outscored the Trojans 11-2 to make the deficit more manageable at 39-33. 

Hugo Aguilar

Down 39-33, the Eagles needed to continue where they left off to close the first half—the early minutes in the third quarter looked vastly similar to what happened in the early minutes of the second. The Eagles were missing shots, the Trojans were getting rebounds and they added to their lead. The Trojans maintained a double-digit lead over the Eagles as a result. The Eagles found themselves down 49-39, but just as they closed the second quarter, the Eagles bounced back and took a 56-54 lead. That was the Eagles first lead since their 5-3 lead in the first quarter. 

The game was tied at 56 to start the fourth quarter. The Eagles battled back from multiple double-digit deficits and were in striking distance. The fourth quarter was very competitive and saw a few lead changes. When the Eagles led, the Trojans responded until the final three minutes of the game where the Eagles outscored the Trojans 10-4 to close the game to take a 76-71 win and won game one of the Eagle Invitational. 

“Today went well, we started slow in the first half. I think our intensity, trying to get them to be consistent and fight throughout the whole game is something we need to work on, but in the second half we picked it up.” Bell continued, “That’s the best performance we played in the second half yet. We just got to start being more consistent and keep pushing through.” Bell on the Eagles’ performance against Skyline. 

Hugo Aguilar

“We upped the energy in the second half. We were moving the ball a lot more. We were fighting on defense a lot. We were just more aggressive overall on defense and offense. That’s really what kept us consistent throughout the rest of the half.” Natalie Derla on the Eagles’ second-half turnaround. 

Breyonna Bell was the leading scorer of the game with 16 points. Lauren Pagtakhan had 13 points and Natalie Derla had 12 points. Derla and Laishu Lazu both had nine rebounds which both led the team. The Eagles fought hard and bounced back to get the win. 

The Eagles beat LA Harbor 72-64 in overtime to go 2-0 at the invitational. Both games were very competitive for the Eagles, but they pulled off a win in both games. With the win, the Eagles improved to 5-2. The Eagles’ next home game will be against Imperial Valley on Dec. 20 in San Jacinto. Tickets for the game can be found here

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About the Contributors
Derrick Spearman
Hello, my name is Derrick and I am a Journalism major here in MSJC. I like to write about sports, politics, and social issues. My goal is to one day become a sports journalist or a beat writer for a major sports team. I am a big fan of the Los Angeles Chargers and Dodgers and even though I have favorites, I like to remain as impartial as possible with my work. Aside from following sports, I like to go on long walks, listen to music, and do a bit of gaming.  
Hugo Aguilar
Hugo Aguilar, Co-Editor, Writer, Video Content Producer/Editor, Photographer
Major: Advanced Audio Technology Hi my name is Hugo:) I am apart of The Talon. My Hobbies are that I like to draw, watch anime, play video games, watch tv shows and movies, I like to hangout with friends, I like to go to the movie theaters, and I like to go Hiking as well. I hope you guys enjoy the time being in The Talon. I hope you guys like my Bio.
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