Women’s Basketball wraps up conference play undefeated with an offensive explosion on Sophomore Night

Friends+and+family+of+the+Moorpark+women%27s+basketball+team+join+the+squad+on+the+court+for+a+photo+before+the+team%27s+game+against+Oxnard+College+on+sophomore+night%2C+Friday%2C+Feb.+21.+Moorpark%27s+sophomores+include+Bree+Calhoun%2C+Jazzy+Carrasco%2C+Isabel+Ayala%2C+Caleigh+McClenahan+and+Britt+Van+Buren.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Friends and family of the Moorpark women's basketball team join the squad on the court for a photo before the team's game against Oxnard College on sophomore night, Friday, Feb. 21. Moorpark's sophomores include Bree Calhoun, Jazzy Carrasco, Isabel Ayala, Caleigh McClenahan and Britt Van Buren. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Nick Sweis

The Moorpark Raiders (25-1, 8-0) have a championship on their minds as their offense looked unstoppable against the Oxnard Condors (7-14, 3-8) after picking up a 121-58 victory Friday night.

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From left to right, Head Coach Kenny Plummer poses for a photo with the sophomore players Bridgette Smith, Bree Calhoun, Jazzy Carrasco, Isabel Ayala, Caleigh McClenahan and Britt Van Buren prior to their home game against Oxnard College on Friday, Feb. 21. The Raiders beat the Condors 121-58. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

It was more than just the last game of the regular season as it was Sophomore Night for Moorpark College. Each sophomore on the team was given the chance at halftime to recognize a teacher or role models that inspired them throughout their journey. Sophomore guards Isabel Ayala, Bree Calhoun, Jazzy Carrasco, forward Britt Van Buren and center Caleigh McClenahan all celebrated what may be their final season home game.

Moorpark was led by star point guard Calhoun as she had an incredible performance putting up a 30 point triple-double. Calhoun had 31 points on 14-17 shooting, 11 rebounds, 15 assists, five steals and two blocks.

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Calhoun works hard with team members to lead the Raiders to a championship this season. Calhoun was asked about the team’s confidence as they await their next playoff game.

“The confidence is very high. We still gotta stay humble, but at the end of the day we know what we can produce,” Calhoun stated.

The Raiders alternate star guard, Carrasco, had an amazing triple-double of her own scoring 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and seven steals. Guard Van Buren pitched in with another great performance scoring 20 points, 7 rebounds and three blocks.

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Britt Van Buren jumps for the layup in Moorpark's home game against Oxnard College on Friday, Feb. 21. Van Buren finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The team was able to score from multiple areas and overwhelm opponents as they did against Oxnard Friday night. The Raiders rank first in points scored per game in conference play, averaging 99.2. Merced College trails the Raiders in second place, averaging 89.1 points per game.

“We run, we just look to score in transition and that’s our game,” Carrasco said.

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Moorpark Head Coach Kenny Plummer explained how the team’s offense is able to be so efficient.

“The team is able to score efficiently by having so many unselfish players on our roster. We also breed and develop a scoring skill set to go along with a scoring mentality,” Plummer said. “Our players all look forward to making the extra pass and getting each other involved.”

The Raiders have only lost one game the entire season as they stand at 25-1 and 8-0 in conference play. Calhoun was asked how it felt to play for such a great team.

“It just makes the game easier and more fun as well,” Calhoun remarked.

It has been a long battle so far for the Raiders. Carrasco described the confidence the team possessed and what drove them to this point.

“After the first few practices and tournaments, it started really building my confidence. Like, wow we are really good because the fans were all hyped over last season and we were expected to have some type of downfall, but I was just amped because of our good chemistry and we just kept things going,” Carrasco said.

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Sophomore Isabel Ayala performs a jump shot during Moorpark's home game against Oxnard College on Friday, Feb. 21. Ayala ended the night with 15 points. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The Raiders only had one conference match-up decided by less than ten points, their first game against Ventura College where the Raiders scored a 71-62 victory led by Calhoun and Van Buren who combined for 48 points. Exhibiting the dominance in almost all their games, winning by a comfortable margin.

Plummer’s passion for the game rubs off on his players. The coaching staff plays their part in the team’s success by maintaining close relationships with all the players.

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Head Coach Kenny Plummer breaks the huddle at the end of a timeout during Moorpark's home game against Oxnard College on Friday, Feb. 21. Last year, Plummer led the women's basketball team to the CCCAA state championship game. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Plummer described the Raiders mindset entering into the playoffs.

“The mindset of our team this year is approaching the upcoming playoff run as the hunters. Our sophomores who were so close last year are hungrier than ever to get another crack at it,” Plummer stated. “This group has been battle-tested in competing for about ninety percent of our regular-season games with teams that have a winning record.”

After success in their final conference play, the Raiders now have the pleasure of a week’s rest before their first playoff game on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. Moorpark will then face the winner of Riverside City vs. Antelope Valley.