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Arab women's season ends in disappointment

February 22, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — At 9 p.m. Friday the clock struck midnight on the Cinderella season for the Imperial Valley College women's basketball team as it lost 75-63 to Southwestern College.

The Arabs finished the season 18-13 overall and 5-5 in the Pacific Coast Conference.

Coming off a 1999-2000 season in which IVC ended the year 1-18, 0-8 PCC, one would think the Arabs would be happy with their 2000-01 performance.

But for all members of IVC's squad, this season was a bit of a disappointment.

Heading into the season the goal was to qualify for the postseason, and the Arabs fell a game short. But looking at the records of some teams that made it to the playoffs, IVC seemed deserving.

The most notable of those teams making the playoffs with questionable records were Victor Valley with two more losses than the Arabs at 18-15, Orange Coast at 16-15 and Glendale with a 17-13 overall mark. Three teams made the postseason with sub-.500 records, Cypress College at 12-18, Fullerton (11-19) and Los Angeles Trade Tech with the worst record in tournament at 10-23.

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"In that sense it is disappointing. But when it comes to who gets in and who doesn't, there's nothing we could've done about it," said Arab coach Jill Tucker. "We all know that we should still be playing."

If anything hurt the Arabs' chances it was a 2-4 record in their final six games.

"That was a big disappointment. Things just didn't end up as good as we all wanted," said sophomore Jessica Prock.

The frustration of the final six games may have affected Prock the most.

At the beginning of the year the lights-out shooting of Prock was a big reason for the Arabs' success. As she went, so did IVC.

In the last month, though, teams keyed on her and shut down her outside game.

"That's what was frustrating. The other teams kind of shut me down. They were taking away my shots and when I would get some shots off they just weren't falling," Prock said. "There was nothing I could do about it. I think that, in a way, I let my team down. And that's one of the things that makes me even more mad."

Of IVC's starting five, Prock is the only one thought to be leaving. There is a chance, however, she could return. She missed about half the year with an injury at 1999-2000. Because of that she said she will politic for another year of eligibility.

With or without Prock, next year's team should return a solid core of players including all-PCC first-teamer Sandra Ramos and starters Jello Moore, Jenny Burgos and LaToya Jackson and backup Adela Green.

Jackson thinks it was a season of learning.

"Even though this year wasn't long enough it was definitely a growing experience for all of us. I really enjoyed it a lot. I have no regrets," said the freshman from Miami. "I do think that we should've won a few more games. And if I could go back and do some things different, I'd capitalize on the mistakes made in some of those losses.

"I think during the off-season, getting ready for next year, I'll use this last month we played to drive me even more."

That drive is what will help fuel the fire of Tucker's squad next season.

Though the Arabs won't have the element of surprise in their favor.

"That was a really neat feeling taking teams by surprise this year. Once we got that winning feeling every time we stepped on the floor we were expecting to win every game," said Tucker.

"The end of this year was a disappointment, but we can all still be happy with what we accomplished. We're going to use this as a base to build off of for next season. Come next year our expectations are going to be a lot higher."

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