Robert Hollar, Contributor
The semifinal of the El Camino Crossover Challenge between Palomar College and LATTC was characterized by lowered shoulders and full-court presses with LATTC charging to victory at home 69-53
The first half was physical and closely contested, though LATTC extended its lead in the second quarter. Despite several offensive fouls driving to the rim, the Beavers went to the half with a 34-25 lead. It made up for those turnovers with seven offensive rebounds compared to just three in the first half for Palomar.
#4 Cheyenne Givens was the only player for either team to score in double figures in the first half. Givens earned her 17 first-half points running into the teeth of the defense, going 7 for 8 at the free throw line.
Palomar's #30 Lilly Crabtree had 4 first-half assists, twice as many as any other player. She found targets like a quarterback, keeping the Comets' offense balanced. However, the scorers struggled in the face of the taller and active Beaver defense.
Crabtree went down with a knee injury late in the first half. She appeared briefly at the start of the second before retiring to the bench for the remainder of the game. That left the Comets without a ball-distributing point guard and the offense struggled. Palomar shot just 26.4% through the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Givens continued to embody the Beaver offense. At one point late in the third she had 25 of her team's 52 points. By the time the dust cleared on the quarter the Beavers led 54-39.
The fourth quarter was a formality. The Beavers extended its lead to 20 with 5 minutes remaining as the crowd hummed with distracted chatter.
LATTC plays in the Final against Pasadena City College at El Camino College 7 p.m. Friday.