CYPRESS, Calif. – El Camino College edged out its second straight two-point victory and won the 35th Annual Lady Charger Classic with a 62-60 win over hosts Cypress College Sunday afternoon at Don Johnson Court.
Saliahah Bey earned the tournament most valuable player award as she led the Warriors (6-2) in scoring for the third straight game. She scored 18 points on 8-for-18 shooting and played a team-high 39 minutes against the Chargers (4-4).
In the three games at the Lady Charger Classic, Bey averaged 22.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range and hitting 11-of-17 free throws. She had double-doubles in two of the three games at the tournament. Hixon led the team in rebounding on the weekend, averaging 10.3 boards a game. Nguyen averaged 14 points per game while recording 12 assists and five steals in the three games.
It was a back-and-forth affair between the teams as they were tied 11 times and traded the lead on 10 occasions. The Chargers' bench was a huge factor in the game as they outscored ECC's reserves 31-10. Pressila Blanco (12) and Christa Evans (11) led the way for the Chargers off the bench while Janei Ruby-Fuamatu led the team overall with 17 points.
The Warriors trailed 45-43 entering the final period but outscored the Chargers 19-15 in the fourth to take the win. Fuamatu hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 left in regulation to give the Chargers a 56-55 lead but it would be the last time the Warriors would trail in the game as Nguyen answered with a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left.
Hannah Avila_McArthur had a chance to tie things up at the free-throw line for Cypress but she missed the first of two shots, making it a 58-57 game with 28 seconds left.
The Chargers would foul Makenna Peneueta with 23 seconds left and the sophomore hit both free throws to make it a three-point lead again for the Warriors.
After a missed 3-pointer for Cypress, Alexandra Ambriz hit a free throw to extend the Warriors lead to four.
With nine seconds left, the Chargers caught a break as Blanco was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. She would hit all three free throws to pull Cypress within one.
Nguyen then took her turn at the charity stripe, hitting one of two shots to make it a 62-60 lead with four seconds left.
The Chargers had one last chance to tie but Evans' jumper for the tie was no good as time expired, giving the Warriors the win and the tournament title.
The Warriors will take their three-game winning streak into the Irvine Valley Tournament beginning on Thursday when they will face Rio Hondo at 4 p.m.