San Bernardino trips up Solano in title game

November 24, 2013

Solano lost a heart breaker to San Bernardino in the championship game of the Santa Barbara MTXE Tournament on Saturday. San Bernardino clinched the game with a 3-pointer with less than one minute remaining to seal a 70-67 victory.

For the second time in three years, Solano walks away from the event with a second-place trophy. The team won the consolation title last year. Ariel Clay, who finished the game on Saturday with six rebounds, four assists and three steals, was named to the all-tournament team.

Solano led late in the game, but missed several shots down the stretch that would’ve allowed them to pull away. San Bernardino capitalized and hit the wide-open 3-pointer that set the final score.

Sophomores Taylor Hamilton and Denisha Lundy each scored 18 points to lead the way for Solano while freshman guard Nikki Andaya scored 10 points off the bench.

Solano will head back to practice and get ready for the Gilcrest Invitational at College of Sequoias in Visalia on Dec. 5. The Falcons will take on Ventura College in the first round.

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Solano advances to title game with win over San Mateo

November 24, 2013

Sophomore Ariel Clay scored 16 points and added nine rebounds to lead Solano past San Mateo 88-59 and into the championship game of the Santa Barbara MTXE Tournament on Friday.

Fellow sophomores Taylor Hamilton, 15 points, and Denisha Lundy, 13 points, each contributed to the victory. Solano coach Matt Borchert once again got to play every player on the roster as the Falcons built a 53-24 lead at the half.

Necole White and Justice Robinson scored 7 points each off the bench.

The Falcons will take on San Bernardino Valley College in the title game on Saturday at 4 p.m. The two teams played for the MTXE title two years ago with San Bernardino prevailing.


Solano cruises to opening round win at Santa Barbara

November 22, 2013

The Solano women’s basketball team made a statement with am 85-56 win over Santa Ana in the first round of the Santa Barbara MTXE Tournament on Thursday.

Solano’s two returning all-conference players, Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay, led the way with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Nikki Andaya came off the bench to score 13.  The Falcons jumped out to a 42-28 lead at the half and SCC coach Matt Borchert was able to play everyone during the contest.

“We had some good moments,” said Coach Matt. “But there is also some fine-tuning and things we need to work on.”

Nikki Andaya added five assists to her total while fellow freshman Christen Voyles grabbed six rebounds in a starting role.

Solano advances to take on San Mateo, a winner over Riverside, on Friday at 6 p.m.


Solano ready to tip off 2013-14 season

November 20, 2013

The winning combination may be taking the floor for the Solano Community College women’s basketball team in 2013-14.
It’s been two years since the Falcons raised a Bay Valley Conference banner in the gym (a banner that was the fourth consecutive) and everyone in the program is ready to end that drought.
No one is burning for a championship more than Solano head coach Matt Borchert who is entering his 14th season at the helm.
Coach Matt and his assistants had an outstanding recruiting year and productive spring and fall seasons. They’ve brought in talent from as close to home as Fairfield and as far away as Reno, Nev., and Georgia.
From Day One, this team has established great relationships on and off the court and they’re ready to make a legitimate run for conference and state championships.

Class of 2014
Leading the way are sophomores Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay, both all BVC selections last year.
Taylor, a 5’2” point guard, was up for conference player of the year as a freshman and led the Falcons in scoring, assists and steals.
She scored in double figures in xx of SCC’s xx games and only had one single-digit scoring game in BVC contests. In addition, she posted a triple double in the double overtime win against Napa Valley.
The lefty brings back her fundamentally sound game and looks to add to her assist total with plenty of offensive weapons to deliver to.
On top of her list may be Ariel Clay, Solano’s standout forward who is solid on both ends of the floor.
Ariel was a force to be reckoned with using her ball-handling skills and quickness to get to the basket around much bigger defenders last year. Because of her length and jumping ability, she was also a tough matchup for opponents on defense. She was one of Solano’s leaders in steals.
Taylor and Ariel are joined by classmate Ariella Harper, a third-year sophomore who definitely wants to raise a banner before her career ends. The much improved forward made her presence felt in the post last year. She’s one of the hardest workers on the team and inspires her teammates every day.
Necole White was the biggest surprise of the 2012-13 season. After coming off the bench during the preseason, Necole worked her way into the starting rotation and was an impact player by season’s end. She’s looking to build on that momentum as a sophomore.
Kristina Kountouris is one of the most well-rounded players back from last season. Kristina is a very fundamentally sound and fills every column on the stat sheet. She’s a crowd-pleasing player who hustles after loose balls and plays extremely hard.
Joining the program this year is Denisha Lundy, a transfer from Cal State Dominguez Hills. Denisha played high school ball at Vanden High in Fairfield for former Solano point guard Allison (Gill) Johnson. Denisha’s presence on the floor and abilities at point and offguard will be a huge benefit to the team this year.

Class of 2015
The freshman class will be expected to come in and contribute right away in 2013-14. With solid guards and forwards on the roster, fans will have plenty to cheer about this season.
Justice Robinson and Laura Lawson bring a winning attitude to Solano, having just completed outstanding careers at Armijo High in Fairfield. Justice was a member of the three-time defending Monticello Empire League championship teams. She’s very well-rounded and will be able to play several guard and forward positions for the Falcons this year. She provides great physical presence in the post and can score from anywhere. Laura is one of the team’s top rebounders. She’ll be one of the most important keys to success for Solano this year at the forward positions.
Nikki Andaya can play all three guard spots and is coming off a great year at Benicia High. In addition to her outstanding ball-handling skills, she’s a great passer, scorer and plays great pressure defense. The coaching staff has high expectations for Nikki.
Danika Carlisle is a solid shooter who will play the offguard and forward positions for Solano. She has a great fundamental foundation, is smart and outhustles her opponents.
Jessica Garcia is one of the last student-athletes to come out of Hogan High in Vallejo. She provides the team with great depth at the guard spot and is another solid 3-point shooter as well. She consistently plays great defense and will be key to the Falcons’ defensive strategy.
Jamilla Anderson and Christen Voyles hail from Reno, Nev. Jamilla is one of the team’s better athletes. She knows how to put the ball in the basket and brings good speed and toughness as well. Christen plays all five positions, making her one of this year’s most versatile players. As a forward who can shoot a 3-pointer, she’s going to provide matchup problems for opponents in 2013-14. Christen, who played high school ball for her dad, has a great understanding of the game and comes from an athletic family.
Kai Roberts has made the long trek to Solano County from Miller Grove High in Georgia. She’s a good athlete who can shoot the 3 and play outstanding pressure defense.
Adrianna Jones and Kiara Beacham come from a highly successful program at Vanden High. They teamed with Denisha Lundy to win two conference championships and advance to the section title game. Adrianna is a smart player and an outstanding 3-point shooter. She works extremely hard and has a great understanding of the game. Kiara will be one of the most important aspects of Solano’s defense this year. She’s a great athlete who’s rebounding skills will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.

The Schedule
Solano’s schedule hasn’t changed much over the years. The Falcons were able to get a sneak peak at some of the top programs in Northern California when they played in two showcase events in September. The outing gave the Solano players the chance to go up against some of the top talent in the state. It was a great introduction for the freshmen. Solano consistently plays one of the top schedules in California every year and this year is no different.
The Falcons open the season at the Santa Barbara MTXE tournament. Solano advanced to the championship game two years ago and won the consolation title last year. The tournament, featuring some of the best teams in the South, serves as a great kickoff to the year for the team, allowing them to bond on the road and get some sightseeing in as well.
An annual tradition since the 1990s, the Falcons then travel to Visalia to play in the Tom Gilcrest Invitiational at College of Sequoias. The 16-team event features some of the best programs and players in the state, guaranteeing that every game is competitive.
Solano turns right around and opens its home season with the Solano Showdown. The tournament has been going strong since 1995 and features teams from Northern California playing competitive games over a three-day period. The Falcons won the consolation championship two years ago.
Right after Christmas, the Falcons travel to Cupertino to play in the Mike Gervasoni Memorial Classic at De Anza College. This tournament serves as a great warmup to the Bay Valley Conference season which starts days after the New Year begins.
Solano looks to get back on top of the Bay Valley Conference this year when they tip off the season on January 2. The Falcons won four straight BVC titles from 2008-2011 and will make a strong push to get back to championship form.
All BVC games are double headers with the men’s basketball team and the coaches from both programs have come up with some great promotional and charitable events to involve fans throughout the entire season.

Familiarity on the sideline
Fans may notice at least one familiar face on the sideline this season. Shannon Rankin, who played for Solano from 2010-12, joins the coaching staff. She’s finishing her senior year at San Francisco State and is excited to begin her coaching career at Solano.
Shannon was a standout player at Napa High before coming to Solano. She was an all-BVC forward for the Falcons and earned a scholarship to play at SF State where she suited up for the Gators last year.