Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Merritt women win BVC title but fall in NorCals

    T-Birds beat Los Medanos in first round, but then lose at №2 Fresno City

    by Eva Hannan

    Merritt College guard Nyela Cade (11) drives to the basket in the Lady Thunderbirds’ 66–49 win over BVC rival Los Medanos College at Merritt in the first round of the Northern California Regionals on Febrary 21. (Photo by Eva Hannan)

    The Merritt College women’s basketball team’s 12-game winning streak has come to an end. The team lost 93–68 in the second round of the Northern California Regional Championships on Feb. 24 at №2 seed Fresno City College. The loss ends the №15 Thunderbirds’ championship bid at the single-elimination State Tournament.

    The Lady T-Birds won their first round playoff game against Bay Valley Conference rivals Los Medanos College 66–49 on Feb. 21 at Merritt. It was the third face-off between the teams this season. Merritt lost at home 77–74 on Jan. 9. They won 80–79 on Feb. 7 at Los Medanos.

    It is unusual for two teams within the same conference to play each other so early in postseason play. “It shouldn’t have been this way,” said T-Birds head coach Armond Gray. “We were the top seed coming out of our conference, so there’s no way we should play another team within our conference [in the first round of the playoffs].”

    BVC champion Merritt (20–8) and №18 Los Medanos (19–9) were the only teams to play an in-conference game to start their postseasons. “Both teams really feel like we shouldn’t have to go through this,” Gray said. “From what we understand, a lot of the other teams didn’t want to play us.”

    Mike Robles is the Director of Sports Info and Communications for the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), which oversees inter-collegiate sports. Robles said the in-conference matchups for this postseason were decided by a committee that strives to be, “objective, and as fair as possible,” when deciding the rank of each college.

    At the end of the regular season, each team is seeded into the postseason according to factors such as RPI, which considers the relative difficulty of the opponents a team faces in the season.

    There are three rounds of play in the postseason, but this year only the four lowest-rated teams were required to compete in the first round in order to advance in what is called a play-in game. The way the brackets are set up depends on the number of eligible teams competing, Robles said.

    “It’s unfortunate because we have three teams from our conference in the playoffs,” Gray said. “We would like to see each team play in different brackets and be successful.”

    The third team was №16 Solano College, which lost 59–49 at Sierra College in Rocklin in another play-in game.

    Eva Hannan sports editor of the Laney Tower.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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