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PC AWAITS SEEDING AFTER 94-46 ROUT VS. MIRACOSTA

OCEANSIDE (2-17-2017) -- Palomar routed MiraCosta 94-46 Friday night on the Spartans' court and awaits Monday morning's playoff seeding meeting prior to the state playoffs.

The Comets ran their win streak to 17 in a row wrapped up a 25-2 regular season during which time they went unbeaten in conference.

Coach Leigh Marshall's squad won their third straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship and fourth title in the last five years. Marshall singled out Cheyenne Ertz for leading the team on both ends of the court against the Spartans.

 
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Women's Basketball

Mission Conference Champions 1978-79

PCC/PCAC Champions 1984-85, 2000-2001, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16

Undefeated Conference Seasons 1984-85, 2007-08, 2008-09

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2016-17 Schedule/Results   |   2016-17 Roster  |  2016-17 Stats |  Coaches

2015-16 Season  |   2015-16 Schedule/Results   |   2015-16 Roster 

2014-15 Season  |   2014-15 Schedule/Results   |   2014-15 Roster 

2013-14 Season    |   2013-14 Schedule/Results    |   2013-14 Roster

2012-13 Season   |   2012-13 Schedule/Results   |   2012-13 Roster


2016-17 Comet Team
 

2016-17 Season

Kendall Crosby (also pictured below) knocks down one of her seven 3-pointers with 4:13 left in the first half, pulling Palomar to within a point of Orange Coast at 28-27 in the teams' Southern California Regional game at The Dome. On the Comets' next possession, her layup put the Comets on top for the first time. Crosby scored a game-high 23 points to save Palomar from an upset loss. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets hold off upset bid by Coast 80-77

SAN MARCOS (2-24-2017) -- Visiting Orange Coast College gave Palomar the scare of its life in the teams' second-round Southern California Community College Regional game on Friday night in The Dome.

The Pirates led 15-4 late in the first quarter, were on top with just left in the game and stuck around until the very end.

But a late 3-pointer from the left corner by Kendall Crosby (left), followed by a key monster block by Roshell Lamug and two free throws each by Lamug, Christina Ellis and Kaylee Pucket in the closing seconds made the difference as the Comets (26-2) held off the Pirates 80-77.

Crosby led all scorers with 23 points and knocked down 7-of-11 shots from behind the 3-point arc. Regina Sheffield scored 13 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Ariana Hernandez drained 4 threes and finished with 13 points. Monica Todd had 8 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out. Lamug and Ellis each added 7 points.

Palomar, which defeated Orange Coast 70-46, 74-44 and 90-53 in three regular-season games, will play the winner of Saturday night's Cypress-Moorpark game next Saturday in one of four SoCal regional championship games for a spot in the CCCAA State Tournament elite eight March 10-12 at Las Positas College in Livermore.

But coach Leigh Marshall hopes the Comets learned something from Friday's near-disaster.

"Orange Coast College deserved to win (the) game," Marshall said. "They came out on fire and never dropped off. They had some big-time shots and I thought they outplayed us.

"We are supposed to hang our hat on defense but definitely did not win the defensive battle tonight. They handled our press perfectly and we were out of position and out of rotations all night. We got lucky to get away with this one."

Danielle Obong (19 points), Sarah Nunes (18) and Chyann Pendergrass (17) led Orange Coast scorers.

If Moorpark beats Cypress on Saturday, the Comets will host the Raiders in the regional championship game next Saturday. If Cypress wins, Palomar will be on the road at the Cypress College gym.

ABOVE: Palomar's Roshell Lamug, a sophomore guard out of Mission Hills High School, is the PCAC North Division's women's basketball Player of the Year. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Coach of the Year Leigh Marshall

Lamug is Player of Year; Marshall Coach of Year

SAN DIEGO (2-18-2017) -- Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North Division coaches selected Palomar's Roshell Lamug as Player of the Year on Saturday. Lamug helped lead the Comets to a 25-2 regular season, their third straight conference championship and its fourth in the last five years.

Palomar's Leigh Marshall was voted Coach of the Year honors.

PC teammates joining Lamug on the all-conference first team are Cheyenne Ertz, Ariana Hernandez and Monica Todd.

Lamug is a sophomore guard from Mission Hills High School. Ertz is also a sophomore guard out of Mission Hills. Hernandez is a sophomore guard from Murrieta Valley High. And Todd is a freshman guard from Mission Hills.

Two Comets were selected to the second team -- Regina Sheffield, a sophomore guard from Paloma Valley High in Menifee and Allie Israel, a sophomore guard from Mission Hills.

Palomar's sophomores, shown here with their coaches, celebrated Sophomore Night by beating COD by 69 points in the Comets' final home regular-season game on Wednesday night. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC rolls 95-26, runs winning streak to 16

SAN MARCOS (2-15-2017) -- Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North women's basketball champions ran their win streak to 16 games by beating visiting College of the Desert 95-26 on Wednesday night and will close the regular season Friday at MiraCosta.

Monica Todd came up big again for the Comets (24-2, 7-0), scoring 26 points. She went 12-for-18 from the floor and also grabbed 9 rebounds. Ariana Hernandez scored 17 points, going 6-for-8 from the floor including a 5-for-6 night from behind the 3-point arc.

Cheyenne Ertz contributed 15 points and 9 rebounds. Roshell Lamug scored 13 points.

The Comets shot 55 percent from the field in the first quarter, 55.6 percent in the second quarter and 60.0 percent in the third quarter. The score was 28-4 after one quarter, 49-11 at halftime and 77-20 after three periods.

Despite 2 more wins, PC falls to 4th in state

PASADENA (2-15-2017) -- Despite winning both its games last week by a combined score of 182 points to 50, Palomar has dropped one spot to No. 4 in the California Community College Sports Information Association's state rankings.

The newly-crowned Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champion Comets (23-2) trail No. 1 East Los Angeles (24-2), No. 2 Mt. SAC (26-2) and No. 3 Sierra (23-3), the top team in Northern
California that switched places with coach Leigh Marshall's squad after defeating current No. 11-ranked Diablo Valley.

California Community College Sports Information Association Rankings

1. East Los Angeles (24-2), 2. Mt. SAC (26-2), 3.Sierra (23-3), 4. Palomar (23-2), 5. Siskiyous (25-1), 6. Sequoias (23-3), 7. City College of San Francisco (23-3), 8. Ventura (23-5), 9. San Joaquin Delta (22-6), 10. Mt. San Jacinto (23-4)

11. Diablo Valley (22-6), 12. Cypress (21-6), 13. Los Angeles Trade Tech (21-6), 14. Fresno City College (22-7), 15. Los Angeles Valley (20-6), 16. Saddleback (20-8), 17. Pasadena
City College (19-8), 18. Foothill (19-8), 19. Chabot (21-7), 20. Orange Coast (17-12)

Allie Israel (No. 33) plays defense as Mesa's Leah Veleker can't find an opening to penetrate on Friday night. The state third-ranked Comets won the PCAC cross-division Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising matchup 95-23 in The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC rolls again, this time in cross-division game

SAN MARCOS (2-10-2017) -- Coach Leigh Marshall's Palomar women's team has pretty much had its way with opposing teams throughout the 2016-17 season, and Friday night was no different.

The State No. 3-ranked Comets, who clinched an updisputed PCAC North Division championship on Wednesday, steamrolled over San Diego Mesa 95-23 in a cross-division match-up at The Dome.

Ariana Hernandez drained four 3-point shots and led five Comets in double figures by scoring 20 points. Monica Todd tallied 26 points. Christina Ellis, Regina Sheffield and Kaylee Puckett each tallied 10 points. Kendall Crosby had nine points and Roshell Lamug and Erika Weitzel each scored eight.

Palomar is 23-2 on the season.

Palomar's Monica Todd scores inside in the third quarter as Palomar clinches the outright PCAC North Division championship by beating San Bernardino Valley 87-27 on Wednesday night at The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Todd (25 pts) goes 12-for-15; PC wins title

SAN MARCOS (2-08-2016) -- Freshman guard Monica Todd went off on visiting San Bernardino Friday night in The Dome, scoring 25 points on 12-for-15 shooting, dropping in her only free throw attempt and pulling down 9 rebounds, 5 on the offensive board. Palomar won 87-27 to clinch an outright Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North Division championship.

Kendall Crosby knocked down 4-of-8 attempts from behind the 3-point arc and finished with 17 points, second high for Palomar, as the state No. 3-ranked Comets (22-2, 6-0 in the PCAC North) ran their win streak to 14 games.

Palomar last lost back 66 days ago, back on Dec. 4, when the Comets dropped a 72-70 decision to currently state No. 1-ranked East Los Angeles in the championship game of the 33rd Cypress College Lady Charger Classic.

Cheyenne Ertz (14 points, 4 rebounds), Regina Sheffield (10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals) and Kaylee Puckett (10 points) joined Todd and Crosby in double figures for Palomar. Christina Ellis passed off for 5 assists.

Palomar's aggressive pressing defense forced 26 San Bernardino Valley turnovers.

The Comets jumped out to a 15-0 lead and led 20-2 after the first quarter as Todd scored 9 of her 25 points.

Comets win showdown with Eagles on road

SAN JACINTO (2-03-2017) -- State No. 4-ranked  Palomar knocked off No. 8 Mt. San Jacinto 80-78 on Friday evening to clinch at least a tie for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North title in what was one of the biggest community college games in California this season.

The dramatic matchup of teams with a combined record of 40 wins and 5 losses going in had huge repercussions not only in the PCAC North race, but also for post-season playoff seedings. Coach Leigh Marshall's Comets advanced to 21-2, 5-0 in conference with their 13th win in a row. Mt. San Jac falls to 21-4, 3-2 and now faces a virtual impossible uphill climb in a conference in which these two teams are miles ahead of everyone else.

Roshell Lamug (left) led Palomar with 20 points. Kencall Crosby (right) finished with 17. Cheyenne Ertz had 14 and Monica Todd added 10 points.

The Comets were up 16 points in the third quarter. The Eagles hit a series of 3-pointers to cut the lead but could never catch up.

"It was great to beat a very good team on the road," Marshall said after Palomar prevailed in one of toughest venues to play at in the nation.

Ariana Hernandez drains a 3-point shot Wednesday night in Palomar's 108-43 rout of visiting MiraCosta. The Comets buried 18 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, led by Allie Israel with seven, Hernandez's five, four by Kendall Crosby and two by Roshell Lamug. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC ready for showdown after routing rival

SAN MARCOS (2-01-2017) -- Palomar warmed up for Friday's first-place showdown with Mt. San Jacinto by demolishing rival MiraCosta 108-43 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game at The Dome.

Allie Israel (23 points, 7 three-pointers) led five Comets in doublel figures. Monica Todd (17 points), Ariana Hernandez (17 points, 5 three-points), Roshell Lamug (13 points, 2 three-pointers) and Kendall Crosby (12 points, 4 threes) combined with Israel to score 82 of Palomar's 108 points. Kaylee Puckett added 9 points.

The state No. 4-ranked Comets (20-2, 4-0 in the North Division) will visit the No. 8-ranked Eagles (21-3, 3-1) on Friday at 5 p.m. at Mt. San Jacinto's gym. The teams have split two previous meetings, with the Mt. San Jac winning in November in its own tournament and Palomar bouncing back to rout the Eagles in a first-round North Division game.

PC's Hernandez is PCAC Athlete of Week

SAN DIEGO (1-30-2017) -- State No. 4-ranked Palomar College basketball player Ariana Hernandez has been selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Women's Athlete of the Week for Jan. 23-29.

Hernandez, a 5-foot-1 sophomore guard from Murrieta Valley High School, scored 26 points, hauled down six rebounds and dished off two assists as the Comets (19-2 overall, 3-0 in the PCAC North Division) defeated College of the Desert on the road 94-45 for their 12th consecutive win.

Hernandez went 10-for23 from the field and drained six 3-pointers as the Comets, playing their only game of the week, warmed up for this Friday night's North Division showdown at state No. 7-ranked Mt. San Jacinto.

Hernandez (26 pts), Todd (20) key 94-45 rout

PALM DESERT (1-27-2017) -- Coach Leigh Marshall wasn't particularly happy with her team's energy on Friday evening, but the Palomar women's basketball squad still rolled to a 94-45 road victory over College of the Desert.

The state No. 4 ranked Comets (19-2, 3-0) remained one game ahead of second-place Mt. San Jacinto, a 128-34 winner over San Bernardino Valley, in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North.

Ariana Hernandez (left, 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists) led the Comets, going 10-for-23 from the field and tacking on 6 baskets from behind the 3-point arc. Monica Todd (right) scored 20 points and also had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.

Also for Palomar, Roshell Lamug scored 9 points. Regina Sheffield contributed 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. And Cheyenne Ertz had 8 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.

The Comets led 29-9 after the first quarter.

State No. 4 PC's Todd honored by PCAC

SAN DIEGO / PASADENA (1-24-2016) -- Monica Todd (left), who helped lead state No. 4-ranked Palomar to its ninth and 10th straight basketball wins last week, has been selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Women's Athlete of the Week for Jan. 16-22.

Todd, a freshman guard/forward from 2015-16 CIF San Diego Section Open Division champion Mission Hills High School, scored 20 points, hauled in 10 rebounds and added 6 steals, an assist and a blocked shot as the Comets opened PCAC North Division play with a 96-67 victory over state No. 7-ranked Mt. San Jacinto. Palomar opened up a 50-21 halftime lead in the game.

Todd came right back two nights later with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals, an assist and a block in a 108-60 victory over San Bernardino Valley.

California Community College Sports Information Association State Women's Basketball Poll

Comets roll to 10th win in row 108-60

SAN BERNARDINO (1-20-2017) -- The Palomar women's basketball team went on the road and raced past San Bernardino Valley in a 108-60 rout Saturday night.

Monica Todd (left) scored 20 points and Ariana Hernandez (right) scored 19 as the Comets (18-2, 2-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North) put seven players in double figures.

Nine of Palomar's 10 players reached the scoring column. Allie Israel and Roshell Lamug each had 16 points. Christina Ellis had 13 points. Kendall Crosby and Cheyenne Ertz added 10 points apiece.

The Comets ran their winning streak to 10 games.

Palomar will be off until Feb. 1 when the Comets will host MiraCosta at 6 p.m.

Palomar 's Monica Todd scores with 7:55 left in the second quarter Wednhesday night in the Comets' 96-67 victory over Mt. San Jacinto. This basket, and another bucket and free throw a few seconds later, gave the Comets a 30-12 lead. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Todd scores 20; Palomar exacts its revenge

SAN MARCOS (1-18-2016) -- Palomar waited 67 days to exact its revenge after an embarrasing 27-point loss to Mt. San Jacinto in the finals of the San Jacinto Lions Club Lady Eagle Tip-Off Tournament back on Nov. 13.

As it turned out, the wait was worth it.

Coach Leigh Marshall's Comets knocked out the Eagles right out of the starting gate, racing to a 13-0 lead in the first 3 1/2 minutes and continuing on to a 96-67 blowout victory Wednesday night at The Dome in the opening game of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North Division season.

Behind freshman guards Monica Todd (20 points) and Kendall Crosby (18 points), Palomar opened up leads of 24-11 after one quarter and 50-21 at halftime in advancing to 17-2 overall, 1-0 in conference in a match-up of two of the best teams in the state. In a complete reversal of the teams' first meeting, the Comets rode Todd's 15-point first-half performance on the way to their ninth straight win and 14th victory in their last 15 games.

Along the way, they left the stunned Eagles bloodied, battered and flattened with an 18-3 overall record but an 0-1 record in the North Division.

Ariana Hernandez (12 points), Cheyenne Ertz (12 points), Christina Ellis (9 points), Roshell Lamug (9 points) and Allie Israel (8 points) also made huge contributions in the 29-point win. Crosby and Hernandez each contributed 4 of the Comets' 12 field goals from beyond the 3-point arc.

Palomar jumped out to the 13-0 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Lamug and Allie Israel, back-to-back baskets by Israel and Todd, and a 3-pointer by Hernandez.

And the Comets never took their foot off the pedal.

PC tunes up for MSJ with 107-25 blowout

IMPERIAL (1-13-2017) -- Palomar's women's basketball team obliterated winless Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-division opponent Imperial Valley 107-25 on the road Friday night.

Kendall Crosby (19 points) and Allie Israel (left, 17 points) each knocked down five 3-pointers as the Comets advanced to 16-2 on the season going into next Wednesday's 5 p.m. PCAC North opener against Mt. San Jacinto at The Dome.

The Eagles are 18-2 after running away from Southwestern on Friday 103-45.

Monica Todd (right,14 points), Christina Ellis (14) and Ariana Hernandez (13) also scored in double figures for the Comets against the Arabs.

 "Monica Todd had a great game on both ends and dominated the glass," Palomar coach Leigh Marshall said.

Wednesday's game will be the first of a double-header. The Palomar men's team will host Mt. San Jacinto at 7 p.m.

Kendall Crosby takes the ball to the hoop to score two of her game-high 20 points in the Comets' 94-75 victory over San Diego City College on Wednesday night at The Dome. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC starts fast, holds on to beat City 94-75

SAN MARCOS (1-11-2017) -- Palomar raced to a 63-35 lead at halftime, then held on in a sloppy second half to beat visiting San Diego City College 94-75 in a PCAC cross-division women's basketball game on Wednesday night.

Kendall Crosby led the Comets (15-2) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Regina Sheffield and Cheyenne Ertz scored 12 points each, and Monica Todd also was in double figures with 10 points. Roshell Lamug added 9 points.

Samera Henry and Evangeline Morga each had 14 points for the Knights (7-9).

The Comets will visit Imperial Valley on Friday at 5 p.m., before returning home to The Dome to open PCAC North play against rival Mt. San Jacinto in a battle of two of the state's top community college teams next Wednesday.

The Eagles advanced to 17-2 on Wednesday with a 105-53 victory over Grossmont.

Palomar's Roshell Lamug drives past Southwestern's Maya Lyda during the Comets' 103-40 victory Friday night in Chula Vista. The Comets (14-2) led 71-22 at halftime. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College. BELOW: Kendall Crosby, who led the way with 22 points

Crosby (22 pts, 6 threes), Comets roll by 63

CHULA VISTA (1-06-2017) -- Freshman Kendall Crosby from Rancho Buena Vista High School scored 22 points, knocking down 6 shots from behind the 3-point arc, and visiting Palomar raced past Southwestern 103-40 Friday night in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-division play.

The state No. 6-ranked Comets (14-2) led 71-22 at halftime in running their win streak to 6 games and winning for the 11th time in their last 12 games.

Palomar put 10 of 11 players in the scoring column and 5 players in double figures. Joining Crosby in double figures for coach Leigh Marshall's squad were Roshell Lamug with 17 points, Cheyenne Ertz (14), Ariana Hernandez (14) and Regina Sheffield (10 points).

"We moved the ball extremely well in the first half and played incredibly unselfish basketball overall," Marshall said.

Palomar will return to The Dome to play San Diego City College next Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Allie Israel (top photo) connects on a jumper to put Palomar ahead of Grossmont 83-48 as the fourth quarter winds down at The Dome on Wednesday night. Roshell Lamug (directly above) drains a 3-pointer for the Comets late in the first half. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

PC puts 5 in double figures, toys with Griffs

SAN MARCOS (1-04-2017) -- Palomar put five players in double figures, led by Allie Israel's 18 points, and had its way with visiting Grossmont 87-55 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-division women's basketball match-up Wednesday evening in The Dome.

It was the first home game since Nov. 20 for coach Leigh Marshall's squad. The Comets have won their last five games and 10 of their last 11 games.

Israel and Kendall Crosby (12 points) each knocked down 4 of the Comets' 13 baskets from behind the 3-point arc. Ariana Hernandez drained a pair of 3-pointers on the way to a 14-point performance. Monica Todd had a 3 on the way to her 12 points. Regina Sheffield contributed 10 points, and Roshell Lamug had the other two 3-point baskets.

Along the way, the Comets, who are ranked No. 6 in the state, advanced to 13-2 on the season.

Palomar started slowly, going 5 minutes, 12 seconds without a point late in the first quarter, which allowed Grossmont to battle the Comets to a 15-15 tie entering the second period. Palomar then went on a 52-24 run in the second and third quarters to lead 67-39 entering the fourth period and twice led by 35 points before Grossmont closed the gap to the final 32-point margin.

Palomar's Crosby is PCAC Athlete of Week

SAN DIEGO (12-26-2016) -- Palomar's Kendall Crosby has been honored as Pacific Coast Athlete Conference Women's Athlete of the Week.

Crosby, a 5-foot-4 freshman from Rancho Buena Vista High School, pumped in 28 points as the Comets ran their record to 10-2 by defeating tournament host Orange Coast 98-53 in the championship game of the 24th Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic.

Crosby, the Coast Classic MVP, went 10-for-18 against the Pirates from the field while breaking the tournament record for 3-pointers in a game by knocking down 8 shots from behind the arc. Earlier in the tournament, she scored 19 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 3 assists and 3 steals in an 85-53 first-round victory over Irvine Valley.

The No. 8-ranked Comets have lost only to state No. 1-ranked East Los Angeles and No. 6-ranked Mt. San Jacinto. Crosby and her Palomar teammates have handed Orange Coast 3 of its losses in its 10-5 season by a combined margin of 102 points.

Tourney MVP Crosby, PC roll to title 98-53

COSTA MESA (12-21-2016) -- Tournament Most Valuable Player Kendall Crosby scored 28 points as Palomar rolled to the championship of the 24th Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic with a 98-53 victory over host Orange Coast on Wednesday night.

Crosby (left), a freshman from Rancho Buena Vista High School, went 10-for-18 from the field and set a tournament record with by knocking down 8-of-13 shots from behind the 3-point arc. She led the way as the Comets, who became the first team to win the tournament in back-to-back seasons a year ago, won it for the third year in a row.

Crosby was joined on the all-tournament team by Palomar teammates Ariana Hernandez (right), who scored 22 points in the Comets' opening-round win over Irvine Valley on Monday, and Christina Ellis.

"Such a great team win," coach Leigh Marshall said. "Every single player contributed and they really played together."

All 11 players scored for the Comets, with no one playing more than 24 of the game's 40 minutes. It was the third time that Palomar (12-2) has defeated Orange Coast (10-5) in three meetings this season.

Ellis went 6-for-7 on field goals to join Crosby in double figures with 13 points. She also had a game-high 7 rebounds, dished off 4 assists and had 2 steals. Megan Scott scored 9 points. Roshell Lamug had 8 points and 5 assists.

Allie Israel, Hernandez, Monica Todd and Cheynne Ertz each contributed 6 points. Regina Sheffield added 5 points and Erika Weitzel had 2 points.

Ertz also had 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Sheffield led the Comets with 4 steals.

Palomar outshot Orange Coast 50.6 percent to 32.8 percent. The Comets broke open a 28-25 game by outscoring the Pirates 30-8 in the second quarter to lead 58-33 at halftime. The score was 78-43 after three quarters.

The Comets will be off until after the holidays, returning to action on Jan. 4 when they return to The Dome to host Grossmont in a 6 p.m. PCAC cross-division game.

73-57 win vs. S'back puts PC in finals

COSTA MESA (12-20-2016) -- With everyone who suited up playing between 10 and 27 minutes, Palomar ran players on and off the court in waves and drew away from Saddleback's women's basketball team 73-57 on Tuesday night.

Along the way, the Comets reached the finals of the  24th Erin Thompson Coast Christmas Classic.

The Comets (11-2) will play the host team, Orange Coast, for the tournament championship on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Pirates downed Chaffey 64-60 in the other semifinal game at Peterson Gym.

Christina Ellis (left, 16 points on 5-for-5 shooting, 6-for-6 from the free throw line) and Kaylee Puckett (right, 15 points and 8 rebounds) led the Comets. Roshell Lamug (10 points and 3 assists) also scored in double figures.

Ariana Hernandez scored 8 points, Kendall Crosby and Cheyenne Ertz 6 each and Megan Scott and Regina Sheffield 5 apiece. Scott had 6 rebounds. Sheffield and Ertz each had 5.

Palomar had 37 bench points to only 6 for Saddleback.

The Comets' defense played a big role, forcing the Gauchos to shoot from out of their range. Saddleback went 1-for-20 from behind the 3-point arc.

Orange Coast will come into Wednesday's championship game with a 10-4 record. Two of those losses came at the hands of the Comets.

Balanced Comets rock Lasers in tourney

COSTA MESA (12-19-2016) -- Coach Leigh Marshall gave Kendall Crosby (left) and Megan Scott (right) starts on Monday and they responded by helping Palomar's women's basketball team past Irvine Valley 85-53 in the first round ofthe 24th Erin Thompson Coast Christmas Classic.

The Comets will face Saddleback, a 72-57 winner over El Camino, in the championship semifinals of the tournament hosted by Orange Coast College on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

"(Crosby) and (Scott) earned starts today and both of them had big days for us," Marshall said. "It was great to see those two step up."

Ariana Hernandez led the Comets (10-2) with 22 points, including a 6-for-13 performance from behind the 3-point arc.

Crosby (19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), Christina Ellis (13 points, 5 steals) and Kaylee Puckett (11 points) joined her in double figures.

Monica Todd scored 9 points. Scott contributed 8 rebounds, and Cheyanne Ertz and Regina Sheffield had 6 and 5 rebounds, respectivlely as the Comets pounded the Lasers 49-38 on the boards.

State No. 6-ranked PC draws away to win

LONG BEACH (12-14-2016) -- State No. 6-ranked Palomar drew away in the fourth quarter to win a non-conference women's basketball game on the road over Long Beach City College 61-52 on Wednesday night.

The Comets (9-2) led 25-23 at halftime, fell behind 46-42 entering the fourth quarter, then dominated the game the rest of the way, outscoring the Vikings 19-7 the rest of the way.

 Monica Todd (left) led Palomar with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Roshell Lamug also tallied 14 points. Allie Israel joined Todd and Lamug in double figures with 11 points while burying 4 three-point shots.

Regina Sheffield pulled down 8 rebounds. Christina Ellis had 7 points. Ariana Hernandez scored 6.

"That was a big win on the road over a very good team," Palomar coach Leigh Marshall said.

 "Israel hit some huge threes for us. Todd gave us some big minutes, and our point guard (Lamug) got it done. Ellis agave us great minutes as well. Without those guys coming up big, we don't win the game."

Comets are ranked sixth in state poll

SACRAMENTO (12-14-2016) -- Coach Leigh Marshall's Palomar team is ranked No. 6 in the state by the California Community College Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

No. 1 Sierra, No. 2 East Los Angeles, No. 3 Mt. SAC, No. 4 College of the Sequoias and No. 5 College of the Siskiyous are ranking ahead of the Comets.

No. 7 Mt. San Jacinto, No. 8 Diablo Valley, No. 9 Pasadena City College and No. 10 City College of San Francisco round out the top 10.

ELA comes from 10 down to win tourney

CYPRESS (12-04-2016) -- Unbeaten East Los Angeles, trailing by 10 points at the half, came back to edge Palomar 72-70 on a Gloria Ortiz buzzer-beater in Sunday's championship game of the 34th Lady Charger Classic.

ELA advanced to 9-0 on the season, while the Comets fall to 8-2.

"We fall behind, tie the game and their ball with 4 seconds left," Palomar coach Leigh Marshall said. "We get them to take a tough shot, we don't rebound and they recover and shoot with .04 seconds left on the clock and win the game.

"Championship teams make championship plays and we didn't make them at the end of this game."

Roshell Lamug scored 16 points, Kaylee Puckett 12 and Christina Ellis 11 for the Comets. Cheyenne Ertz had 9 points and 8 rebounds. Ariana Hernandez contributed 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

PC gets defensive to win 77-44, reaches finals

SAN MARCOS (12-03-2016) -- Palomar outscored Orange Coast 32-9 in the second quarter to blow the game open and went on to crush the Pirates 77-44 on Saturday to reach Sunday's championship game of the 34th Lady Charger Classic at Cypress College.

The Comets (8-1) will face East Los Angeles (8-0), a 94-66 winner over Cypress, for the title at 3 p.m. Orange Coast fell to 8-2.

"We didn't shoot the ball very well, but really got the job done defensively, especially in the first half," Palomar coach Leigh Marshall said.

Regina Sheffield (above left) again led the Comets statistically with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 7 steals. Christina Ellis (13 points, 6 rebounds), Monica Todd (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) and Allie Israel (12 points, 5 rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Comets.

Roshell Lamug added 7 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Comets led 16-9 after one quarter.

Short-handed Comets still roll to 90-45 win

CYPRESS (12-02-2016) -- Palomar's women's basketball team played without two starters on Friday but still opened play in the 34th Lady Charger Classic with a 45-point victory over Santa Monica.

The Comets rocked the Corsairs 90-45 behind Regina Sheffield (left, 19 points, 11 rebounds), Cristina Ellis (14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 steals) and Cheyenne Ertz (right, 10 points, 5 rebounds).

Ariana Hernandez and Monica Todd each added 9 points as Palomar advanced to 7-1 on the season. Roshell Lamug tallied 8 points and Kaylee Puckett added 7 points and 7 rebounds.

The Comets (7-1) will play Orange Coast, an 88-74 winner over Grossmont, in a championship semifinal game on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Pirates have gone 6-0 since Palomar beat Coast 70-46 in the Pirates' season opener back on Nov. 11.

Off-Season

WWE women's wrestler Nia Jax, who played basketball for Palomar in the early 2000's under her actual name of Savalina Fanene, mugs for the camera with her cousin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, during a workout session in Florida. -- Instagram photo. The Rock's mother, Ata Mavia-Johnson, is Fanene's aunt. Fanene/Jax is pictured below when she played basketball for Palomar in 2002-03 under then-coach Sherry Titus, and wrestling on Raw on Monday night in Hartford, Connecticut. Fanene/Jax, who is of mixed Samoan-German ancestory, and Dwayne Johnson are members of pro wrestling's famous Anoa'i family (Roman Reigns, whose actual name is Leati Anoa'i, Afa and Sika Anoa'i, Jimmy and Jey Uso, many others, both past and present). Fanene, who originally came to Palomar from Carlsbad High School, is now one of the WWE women's division's most dominating Superstars.

PC basketball alum Fanene dominant in WWE

HARTFORD, Connecticut (11-01-2016) -- Savalina "Lina" Fanene, who helped lead Palomar's 2002-03 women's basketball team to a Pacific Coast Conference championship, has aspired to a career in pro wrestling since watching her cousin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, in WrestleMania XXVIII.

Fanene already had been glued to the TV watching professional wrestling since childhood. That's hardly a big surprise. She is a member (as is Dwayne Johnson) of wrestling's famous Anoa'i family (Roman Reigns, whose actual name Leati Anoa'i, Afa and Sika Anoa'i, Jimmy and Jey Uso, many others both past and present).

Fast forward to today, when under the ring name "Nia Jax" Fanene is a dominant, overwhelming figure billed at 6-foot-2, 270 pounds (well above her playing weight at Palomar) in the World Wrestling Entertainment's "Monday Night Raw" Brand. Nia Jax battered, injured and pinned "Bailey", one of the premier and most popular women's division wrestlers, Monday night on national and international live TV at Hartford, Conn. The mis-match (above right) was one of the highlights of the weekly "Raw" show.

Nia Jax will represent the Monday Night Raw brand, along with Women's World Champion Charlotte Flair and a handful of other "WWE Superstars" against the Tuesday Night Smackdown brand in the WWE's Survivor Series pay-for-view on Sunday, Nov. 22.

Fanene / Nia Jax made her in-ring debut on May 7, 2015 at an NXT (World Wrestling Entertainment's developmental brand) house show under the ring name Zada. Since eventually debuting on the main roster two months ago, she has been unbeaten.

Nia Jax already mader her WWE Video Game debut on WWE 2K17 as a pre-order playable character.

(Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's mother, Ata Mavia-Johnson, is Lina Fanene's aunt. Fanene's parents are Joseph and Renate Fanene. Her brother is former Palomar and Fresno State linebacker Ben Fanene. Lina and Ben Fanene both came to Palomar from Carlsbad High School.)

CLICK HERE to watch Savalina Fanene (Nia Jax) dominate and injure fellow WWE Superstar "Bailey" on the Raw telecast on Monday.

Palomar's five women's basketball signees, with their coaches, left to right: Mikaela Shannon, (Texas A&M International), Victoria Stewart (Presentation College), Assistant Coach Damian Cephas, Chelse Ayala (Texas A&M International), Head Coach Leigh Marshall, Tatiana Navarro (Presentation College), Lynnzy Troxell (Texas A&M International) and Assistant Coach Chris Kroesch. -- Courtesy Photo

Five Comets accept scholarships to play women's basketball at the four-year level

SAN MARCOS (5-12-2016) -- With another Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship under her belt, Palomar women's basketball coach Leigh Marshall (left) is sending five more scholarship players on to the four-year college level:

Chelsea Ayala -- Ayala, a 5-foot, 2-inch sophomore guard from Oceanside High School, has landed a scholarship to NCAA Division II Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. The Dustdevils are coming off a 15-12 season and were 12-6 in the Heartland Conference. The conference produced the 2016 Division II national champions, Lubbock Christian University. Ayala, an All-PCAC first-team selection, was the leading scorer for the Comets, averaging 12.2 points in conference (9.1 points overall), 3.5 rebounds overall, 3.1 assists on the season (3.9 in conference) and 2.0 steals (2.5 in conference).

Lynnzy Troxell -- Troxell, a 6-foot-0 forward from Escondido High School, also signed with Texas A&M International. She also was named to the All-PCAC first team and was a big force inside for the Comets. Troxell averaged 7.5 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds as Palomar went 24-5 on the season, 13-1 in the PCAC. She averaged 7.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in conference games.

Mikaela Shannon -- Shannon, a 5-foot-10 forward out of Rancho Buena Vista High School, is the third Comet to accept a scholarship to Texas A&M International. Shannon averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds and was an all-conference second-team selection. In PCC games, Shannon averaged 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Victoria Stewart, a 5-foot-4 sophomore guard out of Oceanside High School, sparked the Comets off the bench to earn a scholarship to Presentation College, an NAIA school in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Stewart overcame a serious knee injury she suffered in her first season at Palomar. Presentation is rebuilding after going 6-19 last season but returns an NAIA All-American honorable mention selection in guard Haley Froelich.

Tatiana Navarro, who also sparked the Comets off the bench, also received a scholarship to Presentation College, a member of the North Star Athletic Conference. The power team in the North Star is the University of Jamestown, which swept unbeaten through the conference during the 2015-16 season before losing to Oregon Tech in the NAIA National Tournament. The 5-foot-7 guard came to Palomar from Vista Murrieta High School.

Chelse Ayala

Lynnzy Troxell

Mikaela Shannon

Victoria Stewart

Tatiana Navarro
 

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