Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Pirates to take on Sierra in State Elite Eight matchup

Pirates to take on Sierra in State Elite Eight matchup

COSTA MESA -- With their ticket punched to the "Big Dance" the Orange Coast College women's basketball team will look to be last to turn out the lights inside the West Hills College Lemoore gymnasium as the Pirates kick off state tournament play against Sierra College on Friday, beginning at 3 p.m.

The Pirates (29-1), champions of the Orange Empire Conference and the No. 1 seed out of Southern California will take on the 13th-seeded Wolverines (20-11), a team that picked the perfect time to play their best basketball of the season. 

"It's been a while since we have played someone for the first time, so we are trying to learn this new opponent as fast as we can," OCC head coach Sammy Doucette said. "Looking at the stats, they have three players who consume most of their team's attempts and one player who consumes almost half of their 3-point attempts, so our we are going to focus on the same things we've always focused on ... don't let their players do what they do well. As a team, they play extremely fast and they rebound like crazy. They're a team that has that 'grit' to them -- they're not big or overly athletic, but they really get after it so we are going to have to match that intensity with our own."

For the Pirates, this historic run continues at the California Community College Athletic Association Women's Basketball State Championship Tournament, an event void of OCC participation since the 2005-06 season, when Coast reached the State Final Four before falling to Mt. San Antonio.

During this playoff run, different starters have been leading OCC in scoring, but the train's engine begins and ends with sophomore point guard Meghan McIntyre, who enters Friday's state quarterfinal game averaging 19.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game. Her ability to not only find her points, but also find her teammates and get them going make her the type of player the other seven teams wish they had. 

While McIntyre does her thing, the Pirates have been finding their open shot from the perimeter, led by the 1-2 punch of sophomores Karina Cabrera and Annie Trinh. Cabrera is averaging 15.5 points, while Trinh is averaging 13.1 points per game, but both of those numbers have inflated as the games have increased in importance. 

In the playoff opener against L.A. Trade Tech, Cabrera led the way with 24 points and six assists. In the next round against Irvine Valley, it was Trinh's turn to go off, scoring 27 points and grabbing six rebounds, showing the talent up and down the Pirate starting five.

Forward Gabby Samiy has been a steady force inside and outside, averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per season, while center Savannah Seiler has anchored the post play for Coast with 6.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Seiler has averaged 15 rebounds per game and will be counted on to help slow down Sierra's rebounding edge (+15.6 rebounds/game over their opponents). 

For the Wolverines, it's been a season of streaks as this talented, but freshman-heavy squad got used to playing at this level. They showed flashes of early success with a five-game win streak, including a win over fellow state qualifier, Butte ... but followed that with losses in five of their next six games. Sierra then opened Big 8 Conference play with a 9-5 record, but didn't put things together until the end of conference play. After a pair of convincing wins over Diablo Valley (93-26) and Folsom Lake (64-39), the Wolverines entered the postseason as the No. 13 seed out of the north and had to play a play-in game against Chabot (an 81-68 win) to keep the season going. From there, upset wins over No. 4 Fresno City (85-71) and No. 5 San Joaquin Delta (47-44) helped punch the Wolverines' ticket back to the State Tournament, a tournament that saw them win it all last season. 

Sierra's lone returner from that title team of 2021-22 is sophomore guard Christiane Carlisle, who is averaging 15.4 points, 4.3 points and 3.2 assists per game, joining fellow freshmen scorers Alyssa Premo (16.1 points, 8.7 rebounds), Julianne Cotterill (14.6 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Julianna Chavez (9.5 points, 5.1 assists). 

The winner of Friday's contest will advance to the State Final Four, where they will play the winner of the matchup between Santa Rosa (28-2) and Mt. San Antonio (23-7) on Saturday at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.


Logan Friedman spotlight photo
Logan Friedman
Men's Tennis

Pirate Profiles, presented by Original Pizza

Orange Coast College Athletics Logo
Pirate Profiles
Madeleine Veltri spotlight photo
Madeleine Veltri
Women's Tennis

Pirate Profiles, presented by Original Pizza