COUR IER January 17, 2013 SPORTS Men’s hoops win a close home-opener JONATHAN BILES Staff Writer After facing a double-digit deficit Jan. 9, the Lancer men’s basketball team stormed back to win their home and conference opener, defeating the L.A. Southwest Cougars 83-79. The Lancers improve to 5-9 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. The Lancers lost the lead early in the first half and finally took the lead back with 51 seconds left in the game. PCC had spurts of lockdown defense but had moments of total lapses on the defensive end. “This was our home opener so we had a little stage fright. We came out pretty nervous,” Head Coach Mike Swanegan said after the game. “We settled down in the second half and picked up our intensity as the game went on.” With Lancers leading scorer this season Mike Swanegan Jr., (the coach’s son) going 0-7 from the field and playing only 21 minutes, the scoring burden fell to freshman point guard Jeffrey Dockett and sophomore guard Evan Moore, who both scored their season high in points. Dockett went 9-13 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range, 8-10 on free throws, six assists, and added two steals. Brooks went 7-14 overall, 5-8 from three, a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, and was one rebound away from a double- double. “They just wanted me to find the open man and create,” Dockett said, who also contributed six assists. “I’ve had the green light from coach to score and play my game since the last tournament.” Also contributing to the winning effort was sophomore guard Steven Shares, who added great defensive intensity, accounting for two steals, and sophomore forward Alec Tatum who added seven points and 10 crucial defensive rebounds. The final scoring run started with back-to-back threes by Brooks, followed by a pair of clutch Dockett free throws to take the lead. Fouling Dockett proved to be costly and resulted in LA Southwest’s top two players fouling out and having four fouls. “I’m little and fast so I guess they felt the need to foul me,” the 5’9′ tall Dockett said. The shot clock had been turned off and there were 23 seconds left in the game as the Lancers held onto a three-point lead. The Lancers came out of their final timeout with one singular message from Coach Swanegan and his vocally active assistants. “Don’t foul,” Brooks said. “Whatever you do, don’t foul.” The Lancers played clinically efficient defense in the final moments, forced a missed basket from the Cougars, grabbed the Jordan Harris/Courier Chris Smith whips the ball around the defender on Jan. 9, kicking it into the paint for an easy two points. The final score was 83-79, Lancers. rebound, and held the ball until the clock ran out. “Our gameplan was to open Softball aims to go hard for season MADISON MIRANDA Staff Writer The Lancer softball team, according to Head Coach Brittany Williams, is shaping up to have a good season with two returning sophomores and 15 freshmen players. “I am confident going in to our game next Friday,” said Williams. Even with the new faces added to the team, Williams is not worried. It was an easy transition for the team, with the returning players helping out the new girls she said. “There is cohesion with the team. The new players fell in line. They respect the returning players. Everyone helps out,” said Williams. “They are good kids. Very, very good kids.” The players work well together and push each other to do better she says. “I think it’ll be a good year,” she added. This is her second season as head coach and her third year at PCC. When looking for players for this season, the coaches chose athletes that could play multiple positions. “We wanted to have more options,” said Williams. Ashley Shaneberger, returning sophomore and outfielder, the floor up and play in transition, play physically and disciplined,” Coach Swanegan said. Lancer baseball looking forward to new season ANDREW SALMI Staff Writer File Photo Lancer Kayla Moore slides into home plate, as the ELAC catcher attempts to tag her out at Robinson Park last season. thinks the team is looking good this season. She is not worried about the team’s ability to work together. “Once we step out on the field, everything goes away for us and we just focus on the game,” Shaneberger said. Natalie Ficocelli, returning sophomore and first baseman, is also feeling confident for the season. “We’ve had some bumps on the road with positioning, but we haven’t even hit the surface [of our potential] yet,” Ficocelli said. According to the coach, the biggest obstacles the team faces this season are some injuries and working around academics. Williams said there are five players red shirting this season, two of which are for injuries. The other three decided to focus on their schoolwork and become stronger players. “Academics come first,” said Williams. With only a few practice days left, Williams is excited to see the team in action. “Everyone wishes for more time, but we are ready.” “I thought for the last ten minutes of the game our intensity level was great.” As the Lancer baseball team approaches its upcoming 2013 season, Head Coach Evan O’Meara expects the team to improve in all areas for his ninth season at PCC. After a very disappointing 2012 season in which the team finished with six wins and 30 losses, Coach O’Meara is optimistic about the starters and noted some impact players who are returning for the 2013 season “David Halstead was an allconference first baseman last year and we look for him to step up again this year. Third baseman Danny Gomez was with us last year. He’s a terrific student and is kind of the elder statesman on the ball club,” O’Meara said Also expected to make an impact on the field are middle infielders Bobby Fraijo and Josh Clark, catchers Cameron Silva and Corey Richards, and outfielder Charles Smith. “As of now we just found out who our team is since we just got down to the final cuts,” said sophomore shortstop Josh Clark. On the mound, noted pitchers Evan Stransky, Spencer Stute and Trevor Gleason are returning and will help turn around a pitching staff that struggled mightily last season. “I’m excited. We thought we had a really good team last year too but we lost so many guys to grades, but this year we have a better infield than I’ve seen and our pitching staff is really coming around” said sophomore pitcher Gleason. O’Meara is optimistic. “The overall depth of the team is actually stronger this year than it was last, especially defensively and offensively. We’re not as deep pitchingwise as we were last year, but we weren’t very successful on the mound last year anyway so it didn’t really matter if we were deep or not,” said O’Meara O’Meara said, however that assistant coach David Walters had done a tremendous job with getting the pitchers ready for the season. The baseball team will open the season playing host to Antelope Valley College on Feb. 1.