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AOW: Freshman forward helps IVC make post-season run

February 26, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

When Brawley Union High graduate Marquita Travis was deciding what college to attend, she was all set to go to Cuyamaca College in El Cajon to compete in track and field and basketball.

That plan fell through, so Travis decided to attend Imperial Valley College and play basketball for the Arabs.

To say things worked out well for the 18-year-old would be an understatement. Travis stepped into the women's basketball team's starting lineup and last week helped the team complete a 22-win regular season with victories over Grossmont and Southwestern colleges.

With those wins IVC finished 8-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference, taking second place, and qualified for the postseason. The Arabs host Cyprus College at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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"Last week, we were just getting ready for the playoffs," said the 5-foot-10 forward. "For me, I've been trying to get back to being an all-around player. I've always been a defensive player, getting rebounds, but lately I've been trying to step up my all-around game."

She showed her versatility Friday in the team's 86-42 thrashing of Southwestern by finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

While the numbers she has posted are impressive, averaging almost a double-double for the season with a little more than 10 points per game and seven rebounds per game, what's more impressive is the way she accumulates those stats, especially her points.

Sometimes Travis, the only freshman starter, is the third, fourth or even fifth scoring option on the floor, so she has to work twice as hard for every point she gets.

But being in the offensive background isn't new to Travis. In high school she was also a second and third option for the Wildcats.

"I don't always have to be No. 1 out there. To me, I don't really like the spotlight, I just love playing," said Travis. "I don't mind being in the background. I just show up and help the team out as much as I can."

Travis will need to show up and help her team as much as possible this week as it kicks off postseason play.

"At the beginning of the year, with the players we had returning and the freshmen that came in, I thought we'd have a really good chance of having a successful season, and we have," said Travis. "But still, right now we're focusing on going to state. And I think this team has the determination to make it."

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