Women’s Basketball End Seventeen Year Playoff Losing Streak


Photo Credit: Matthew Medina

#10 Tiah Sherman goes up for a tough layup in Wednesday’s playoff. contest against College of the Canyons.

The Roadrunners beat College of the Canyons with a final score of 73-63 in the first round of the CCCAA Regional Playoffs, ending their 17-year losing streak in the playoffs. 

The thrilling matchup was back and forth all night until Rio Hondo pulled away late in the fourth quarter to secure the win and a trip to the second round. 

Coming into this game, the Roadrunners were named the No. 15 seed in the regional tournament after a 15-13 record and a second-place finish in the South Coast Conference North Division standings. Canyons, on the other hand, were the much better team on paper, finishing 17-10 and 11-3 in their respective conference standings. 

Each team had a shot at winning this game, and it really showed on Wednesday night. 

The first half of the contest was a physical battle, finishing with a 35-35 score to end the half. 

Head coach Rene Herrera spoke about the halftime adjustments made after the first half to pull ahead after halftime, “We knew Canyon shoots the ball really well, so we just wanted to make sure to contest the three-point shooters and control the boards,” Herrera said. “We had the size advantage with a lot of the sets we ran, so we wanted to pound the ball inside and get a lot of back door action. We were able to execute that.”

Coach Herrera also mentioned that the team was coming off a three-game losing streak heading into the tournament, but they showed great discipline on defense. 

Who stood out?

Rosalie Avalos and Tiah Sherman were the two top scorers of the night, Sherman with 18 points and Avalos with 19. Sherman had a great game on both sides of the ball, putting on a clinic in the paint and pressuring on defense. 

Sherman’s performance pleased Herrera, “We won as a team, but Tiah Sherman stood out today. She was able to dictate a lot of traffic and opportunities for her teammates, and knocked down some big shots,” Herrera said. “At the end of the day a lot of our girls stepped up and made plays.”

A note that Coach Herrera mentioned during the post-game interview was that this was the first playoff win for the program since 2006, which is an amazing accomplishment. However, the next opponent is no easy task.

Who’s Next in Round 2?

Rio Hondo will face unbeaten (28-0) Palomar College Saturday, Feb. 25, in San Marcos. Coach Herrera and his squad are ready for the challenge saying, “All we ask is for an opportunity to play the best, and we are not scared of playing anybody… we will welcome the challenge and see what happens.”