ECC women’s basketball team prepares for fourth consecutive title run


El Camino College basketball player Alexia Mason performs a behind the back dribble move on point guard Ashley Nguyen during practice on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Only three players will be returning from last year’s team. Jaime Solis/The Union

After winning a third consecutive conference championship last season, the El Camino College women’s basketball team is preparing to defend its throne while making a deep playoff run.

“Our goal every year is to be conference champs, so we want to work towards that and become the best team we can be,” Steve Shaw, ECC women’s basketball head coach, said.

The ECC Warriors’ season was cut short last year in the second round of the SoCal Regional playoffs after a 77-51 loss to Glendale Community College. Their record overall for the season was 23-7 and 9-1 in the South Coast Conference (SSC).

But this year Shaw said he sees more differences than similarities between this team and the last.

“Last years team had great potential and had the ability to win the conference championship, this team we will see,” Shaw said.

As they are about to begin their season with most of their veteran players gone, the Warriors look to improve from last year and start building good habits throughout the season, Shaw said.

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El Camino College basketball player Alexia Mason dribbles the ball to get past defender Sarah Downs during a practice drill on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The Warriors have won three consecutive conference titles.

“We have four returners back from last season, but three of them suffered injuries during the course of last season,” Shaw said. “As far as the similarities in personnel it’s going to be a lot different. We have our point guard back, Ashley Nguyen. We still kept our great chemistry from last year.”

With a lot of new players added this season, Shaw said he is ready to see what they can bring this year’s team.

“It’s one of the intriguing things and challenging things in coaching community college basketball,” Shaw said. “The new players cause the team to create a whole new blend of a team than the year before. The new players just have to be prepared to come in and contribute right away.

But to win the conference for a fourth consecutive year and make it to the playoffs, Shaw said the team will have to be good defensively.

“We’ve always tried to be a good defensive team, but this team will have to be really good defensively,” Shaw said. “Last year we had so many weapons offensively and it kind of spoiled us. This year we don’t have as many offensive weapons so we are going to have to focus on the other side of the ball.”

Freshman Player of the Year Ashley Nguyen dribbles the ball during the practice on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Nguyen started in 29 games for the Warriors last year, averaging 12.4 points and 2.4 steals. Jaime Solis/The Union

SCC freshman of the year and point guard, Ashley Nguyen said she is ready to lead this team as one of its captains.

“Coming back and getting to know my new teammates has been really fun,” Nguyen said. “I’m excited for the challenge to get to lead this team and see how far we can go.”

Nguyen said she wants to build off of last season and translate her success into the team’s upcoming season.

Sophomore guard Alexia Mason, who broke her wrist in the offseason and is just now returning to action, said she understands that to get to where they want it’s going to take unity.

“Communication and team bonding is the most important thing for us as a team,” Mason said.

First Game:

Who: El Camino College Warriors at Cypress College Chargers

When: Saturday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m.

Where: Jim Thorpe House

Address: 9200 Valley View St, Cypress, CA 90630

For directions to and a map of the Cypress College Campus, click here.

Home Opener:

Who: El Camino College Warriors vs Fullerton College Hornets

When: Friday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m.

Where: South Gym

Address: 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506

For a map of the El Camino College campus, click here.