LONG BEACH (11-27-2018) – After seeing its 33-game home winning streak snapped by East Los Angeles in the finals of its own tournament, Palomar's women's basketball team had to play on the road without two of its best players Tuesday evening at Long Beach City College.
After three quarters, coach Leigh Marshall's squad found itself tied at 54-54 vs. an opponent with a .500 record and appeared ripe for an upset but won 74-69 down the stretch.
"It was an extremely ugly game. We were missing Taylor Williams and Dee Dee Valenzuela and had way too many turnovers and played lackadaisical defense," Marshall said. "But we found a way to pull it out."
Proving that an ugly win is far better than any loss.
Sara Ahmadpour, a 5-foot-10 freshman out of Mission Hills High School, led the Comets with 18 points, hitting 6-of-12 three-pointers and also contributing 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
"Ahmadpour hit some big 3's for us, and Erika Weitzall had some big minutes off the bench," Marshall said.
Mackenna Gentry , a 5-foot-4 freshman from Mt. Carmel High, buried a 3-pointer with 7:02 left in the game to put Palomar (7-1) ahead to stay 64-61 and finished the night with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Imari Cooley (12 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal), a 5-foot-8 freshman from Vista Murrieta High, and Clarissa Taite (11 points, 6 assists, 2 steals), a sophomore out of Mira Mesa High, also finished in double figures.
Weitzel (San Marcos High) had 6 points and 4 rebounds, while other major contributors for the Comets included Morgan Heise (San Marcos High, 7 points, 4 rebounds), Lilly Crabtree (Westview High, 9 rebounds, 3 assists).
Prior to the loss to East L.A. that broke the Comets' 33-game home win streak, Long Beach had been the last team to beat Palomar at The Dome, 58-49 on Jan. 2, 2016.
On Tuesday, the Vikings fell to 3-4.
Palomar will return to action on Friday when it tips off against Compton College at 4 p.m. in the opening round of the 35th Annual Lady Charger Classic that will run through Sunday at Cypress College.