Siskiyous women again finish alone at the top in GVC

Dave Sjostedt
Kacey Cain and Elizabeth Derner, 12, force a turnover with stifling defense during College of the Siskiyous' 78-60 win over Lassen College Feb. 14, 2018, in Weed. The win gave the Eagles sole possession of a seventh consecutive Golden Valley Conference championship.

The College of the Siskiyous women’s basketball team won its seventh consecutive Golden Valley Conference championship on Valentine’s Day with a 78-60 win over a Lassen College team fighting for a share of the title. But it wasn’t easy. The Eagles took a 42 to 29 lead into halftime then had to stave off a Lassen rally that brought them within 2 points of the lead in the 3rd quarter.

The Eagles used their 10 woman rotation to mount a stifling press-and-trap defense that generated numerous turnovers and wore the shorter-benched Lassen team out, allowing the Eagle women to pull away with a 26-14 4th quarter and sweep their three games with Lassen this season.

Kacey Cain led the team with 21 points and, along with Nichelle Laffoon (12 points) controlled the boards. Cain averaged 8 rebounds a game during the season while Laffoon grabbed 7.5. Point guard Anhelica Shanrock also contributed 12 points and kept the Eagle attack going at high speed.

The win likely means a home game in the state tournament for the Eagles who last year battled on to the state finals. This year’s tourney begins the weekend of Feb. 23-24.

The team saluted its three sophomores playing their last regular season games.

Elizabeth Derner, MacKenzie Hayden and Acacia Ross all were a part of two GVC championship teams. Coach Tom Powers said they were instrumental in helping those teams win 56 of their 62 games.

The Eagle women (9-1 GVC, 24-4) had a balanced attack during the year with Cain averaging 15.5 points a game while Derner, Laffoon and Shanrock netted over 12. They’ll need that balance and their high-energy defense to make a run in the playoffs.