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OCC’s Ford is repeat MVP

BASKETBALL: She collects top Orange Empire Conference honor once again. Three Pirates also all-conference picks.

February 26, 2008

Orange Coast College sophomore guard Courtney Ford has been named Orange Empire Conference Most Valuable Player in women’s basketball for a second straight season to highlight four Pirates named to the 14-player squad.

Pirates sophomores Rachael Maulit, Brittany Taylor and Katie Kissee have also been recognized, while the Pirates’ Mike Thornton has been named Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

OCC (29-3), ranked No. 3 in Southern California and No. 5 in the state, finished 13-1 in conference play to capture its second straight Orange Empire crown, a first for the Pirates.

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The 5-foot-7 Ford, bound for Mercer University, is averaging 23.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game this season. She has become OCC’s career scoring leader (1,389 points, more than 250 better than the next-highest total) and is closing in on the school single-season scoring record with 739 points. She needs 88 points to match Jennifer Ludwicki’s total of 827 points in 1997-98.

Maulit, a 5-5 point guard, is a repeat all-conference performer. She leads the team in assists and steals, averaging 7.0 and 3.4, respectively. She is averaging 4.4 points.

Taylor, a 5-9 post, is averaging 7.7 points and 3.9 rebounds and her quickness and athleticism have helped her consistently hold her own against taller opponents in the paint. She has also consistently produced despite battling several nagging injuries, including a back ailment,

Kissee, a 5-5 guard, is averaging 10.9 points per game and her 52 three-pointers are two more than Ford to earn the team lead. Kissee also leads the team in free-throw shooting, netting 81.4%.

The Pirates, the No. 1 seed in the South, receive a bye in the quarterfinals of the Southern California Regional playoffs that begin Wednesday.

They will play either Santa Monica (18-11) or Antelope Valley (18-13), two teams who square off in Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Santa Monica.

Orange Coast was eliminated in the second round of the Southern California Regionals last season after a first-round bye.

They were upset, 61-59, by San Bernardino Valley, at OCC.

— From staff reports


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