MJC men take long bus ride to avenge loss to Lassen

Payback cost the Modesto Junior College men's basketball team a 13-hour bus ride.

But it was worth it.

The Pirates defeated Lassen 78-75 on Thursday, avenging a loss from the MJC Classic earlier this month. Pirates coach Paul Brogan said everyone contributed, including John Potter and Abram Dukes, who each scored four points -- their first of the season.

Marvin Jefferson led Modesto (9-4) with 18 points, all in the second half, and 13 rebounds. Eleazar Jones and Chris Teevan each scored 16 points, with Teevan making 11 of his 12 free throws and recording 11 assists. It was Modesto's fourth consecutive victory.

"We had different people really come up big for us at different times," Brogan said. "Eleazar had a really good first half. He knocked down some shots for us. It's nice to make this long drive and come away with a win."

The ride to Susanville was approximately 6½ hours each way. The Northern California school is about 85 miles northwest of Reno.

Lassen (8-7), coached by former Modesto JC assistant and Davis High alum Ben Riley, beat Modesto 78-77 in the first round of the MJC tournament Dec. 6. The Cougars got 23 points each from Jordan Stokes and Pat Carlson on Thursday.

JC Women's Basketball

MODESTO JC 87, GOLDEN WEST 50, at Imperial -- Sughey Cervantes led the Pirates into the Imperial Valley Holiday Classic championship with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Stephanie Doerksen added 13 points and four steals in a balanced team effort. Kelsey Wingo scored 10 points and had six rebounds.

Modesto outscored the Rustlers 43-18 in the second half.

"I was really happy with the way we finished the game," MJC coach Mike Girardi said. "The players are in a good mental frame right now."

Modesto (9-4) will play Pasadena City in tonight's title game at 7. The Lancers (14-1) were an Elite Eight team in the state tournament last season. Girardi said Pasadena City has three starters taller than 6-foot, and his players are excited about the challenge.

"Sometimes it helps to have four guards in at one time like we like to do," Girardi said. "Maybe we'll get hot. We're going to give it our best shot."

MERCED 64, BUTTE 52, at Stockton -- Rachel Martinez scored 16 points and Kenyatta Harper had 14 for the Blue Devils at the Delta Classic. Merced (9-4) will play the hosts tonight at 7. Delta defeated Los Angeles Southwest 109-55.