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Herrick Has Lady Cougars Headed Back to Postseason

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director

College of the Canyons women's basketball is back in the postseason for the 25th time in program history and first since the 2018-19 season, with a CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoff game set for Thursday, March 3 in the Cougar Cage.

No. 7 seed Canyons (19-7, 8-4) finished tied for second in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division standings after winning its final three regular season games.

The Cougars enjoyed another successful season under long time head coach Greg Herrick, currently in his 30th year and 29th season at the helm. COC won its first eight games out of the gate. Those wins provided the program with victories at the Santa Barbara MXTE Tourney Nov. 5-7 and the annual VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions Nov. 18-20.

On Dec. 17, Herrick claimed his 600th career win at the college with a 78-67 victory over Rio Hondo College. 

COC's roster features a bevy of talent highlighted by WSC, South Player of the Year and All-State First-Team selection LuLu Salloom. The freshman forward has averaged 16.2 and 14.7 rebounds on the season, with the rebounding total ranking fourth in the state.

The Cougars also boast All-WSC, South selections in guards Justice Walters, Malia Semana and Monique Febles

Walters was the Cougars' No. 2 scorer at 15.5 points per game despite making just 16 starts on the year. Febles played in all 26 games for Canyons while averaging 14 points and 3.4 assists per game. Semana finished the season with averages of 4.8 assists and 7.7 points. 

No. 10 Orange Coast (20-8, 9-3) finished the season runner-up in the Orange Empire Conference to Irvine Valley College. The Pirates won six of its last seven regular season games with the lone loss coming on the road at IVC. 

Sophomore guard Alexis Legan has led OCC in scoring with 22 points per game to rank No. 7 in the state. Legan also led the squad with 9.3 rebounds and added 3.2 assists each night to her season totals. Karina Cabrera was one of four Pirates to finish the season with double-digit scoring averages. Cabrera's 16.7 points ranked second on the team and was followed by Kyoka Ohara (13.6) and Annie Trinh in scoring leaders. Ohara also led the team with 4.2 assists each night out. 

Canyons will enter Thursday's playoff matchup as the No. 13 ranked team in the state according to the most recent California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) statewide poll released on March 1. Orange Coast did not appear in the final regular season statewide ranking.

The CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs began on Tuesday, March 1 with a play-in round. Regional rounds are set to begin on Thursday, March 3. The CCCAA Women's Basketball State Championship is slated to get underway March 10, 12-13 at West Hills Lemoore College in Lemoore, CA. The top four teams from both the North/South region will advance to the state championship tournament.

Full CCCAA Women's Basketball regional brackets are available here.

No. 7 College of the Canyons vs. No. 10 Orange Coast College will tip at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in the Cougar Cage.

General admission tickets to all CCCAA postseason games are $12. Students/faculty/staff (with ID) from both schools, seniors over age 60 and children under 12 are $8.

Fans can now purchase advance tickets to Saturday's game through the COC Athletic Department's electronic ticketing service provided by HomeTown Ticketing.

As a reminder to all fans, masks are required at the Cougar Cage. Spectators are also advised to adhere to social distancing guidelines and practice COVID-19 protocols.

Fans unable to attend Thursday's playoff game can watch the live stream broadcast on YouTube via the Cougars Sports Network. 

Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube

-Photo by Maurico Escobar/Dximagery