Moorpark Women’s Basketball tops off state rankings as conference play begins

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Moorpark Sophomore guard Breanna Calhoun dribbles down the court during the home game against Compton College on Friday, Jan. 10. Moorpark beat Compton 107-38. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

By Nick Sweis

Moorpark College (17-1) Women’s Basketball is hosting their conference home opener Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. against Allan Hancock (9-10).

Coming off a blowout home victory on Jan. 10 against Compton College 107-38, California’s No. 1 team delivered a strong statement to the rest of the Western State North Conference as they closed off non-conference play.

After falling to Diablo Valley in 2019’s state championship game, at 17-1, the Raiders are favorites to not only return to this year’s championship, but to win it all.

“Last year we made it into the championship game and lost. Now this year we have new freshmen and transfers who came in,” said guard Britt Van Buren. “So we’re ready.”

In his fifth season as head coach, Kenny Plummer, clinched his one-hundredth career win in the blowout victory over Compton College.

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The Moorpark Raiders celebrate Coach Kenny Plummer's one hundredth career win after the home game victory against Compton College on Friday, Jan. 10. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“I was able to reach one hundred career wins at Moorpark College because of the great student-athletes who dedicated and committed their time to my coaching and the program,” Plummer said. “Being surrounded by a great staff, supportive athletic department, great athletic trainers, community partners and student-athletes who bought into our team’s philosophies has allowed me to reach this wonderful milestone.”

His coaching resume includes the 2019 CCCWBCA South Coach of the Year Award after leading the Raiders to an impressive 32-2 record last season. He is a three-time conference coach of the year from 2017-2019 and hopes to four-peat in 2020, as the Raiders are on their way to a fourth consecutive winning season under Plummer’s helm.

Plummer does not only take pride in the fact that eleven of his former players have gone on to play in NCAA Division-1 basketball, but that every player going through his program gets something out of his coaching techniques.

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Head Coach Kenny Plummer celebrates during Moorpark Raider's home victory over Compton College on Friday, Jan. 10. This was Plummer's one hundredth career win as a coach at Moorpark. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“We pride ourselves on player development and sustaining a positive, competitive environment with providing opportunity for those student-athletes who are willing to earn success,” Plummer said. “Pillars of the women’s B-ball program [are] the four C’s: commitment, compete, character, consistency.”

Moorpark began their season on Nov. 2 with a convincing victory over No. 7 Mt. San Jacinto (18-2) 80-58, the hottest team in California on a 17 game win streak. Forward Jasmine Nichols led the team with 22 points on 10-14 shooting.

The Raiders only loss came at the hands of No. 10 Merced (15-5) on Dec. 5, 57-54, where guard Jaydon Williams put up 19 points on 8-13 shooting for Merced. Moorpark had a rough shooting night, hitting only 33.9% from the field and 15.8% from the 3 point range to go along with 15 turnovers. They also only finished with six assists when they average 21.2 per game this season.

The Raiders have not lost since and are currently riding a nine-game win streak. Guard Jazzy Carrasco is leading the team in scoring with 16.1 PPG, along with 5.1 APG, and is third in the Western State Conference with 39.7% 3 point shooting.

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Sophomore Caleigh McClenahan hops up for a layup during the game against Compton College on Friday, Jan. 10, at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“When we’re all hitting shots … I know we’re tough to beat,” Carrasco stated.

Heading into conference play, the Raiders are averaging 82.1 PPG on 47.3% shooting and 35.3% from 3 point range. 82.1 PPG puts them at second-most in the state, only trailing San Joaquin Delta who is averaging 84.6 PPG. Their 3 point shooting percentage also ranks in the top five, as they have the fourth-best, while their field goal percentage is the second-best shooting percentage in the state, only trailing Lassen College, who hit 48.5% of their shots.

The Moorpark Raiders average elite numbers on both sides of the ball, not only on the offensive side. They lead the state in APG at 21.2 and allow the least amount of PPG at 47.8.

Moorpark has a handful of star players. Carrasco just cracks the top 50 in California in PPG with 16.1, and Van Buren averages an impressive 11.9 RPG, 11th in the state. Sophomore guard Bree Calhoun ranks second in APG at 7.8, only trailing Siskiyous guard Lynden Harry who averages 9.9 APG.

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Moorpark Sophmorore Isabel Ayala dribbles around Treshoir Cavanaugh during the home game against Compton College on Friday, Jan. 10. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

The Raiders look to keep their hot streak alive as they kick off conference play at home Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. against Allan Hancock (9-10).

Plummer was asked what the keys to victory are in conference play.

“Continue to play defense the way we’ve been playing, paying attention to detail, and playing for each other.”