And just like that, the Seahawks’ fairy-tale season turned into a pumpkin.
The clock struck midnight for the 2018-19 Cabrillo College women’s basketball program on March 9, as it fell in the final round of the CCCAA NorCal playoffs to the Merced College Blue Devils in Merced, 70-46.
The No. 2-seeded Blue Devils (28-3) suffocated the No. 7-seeded Seahawks (19-5) with their high-pressure defense, ending one of Cabrillo’s most successful seasons in program history.
Cabrillo committed more than three times as many turnovers as Merced, making it virtually impossible to recover from the double-digit lead the Blue Devils built in the first quarter.
Coast Conference South M.V.P. Heleyna Hill led the game in scoring with 19 points, but her 12 turnovers were also a game-high, and exceeded the total number of turnovers (10) committed by her opponents.
Hill’s career will continue next season when she takes the court for Dominican University Penguins in San Rafael.
Cabrillo will also say goodbye to guard Teal Maixner and forwards Maddy Miller and Nthabi Anderson-Bahr. But the Seahawks are expected to return six players, including starters Michaela Thornton and Veronica Johnson and sixth woman Savanah Quintana-Martin.
• Cabrillo wins first series of conference play - The Seahawks wrapped up their first week of Coast Conference Pacific play with a 2-1 series victory over the Skyline College Trojans thanks to two clutch pitching performances by freshman ace Gio Besio.
Cabrillo’s bats stayed hot, producing five or more runs in all three games of the series.
Besio threw nine shutout innings of three-hit ball in the Seahawks’ 6-1 victory on March 4, and stole the win on March 10 throwing a single inning of relief during extra innings.
• Delta 9, Cabrillo 3 - The San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs took advantage of five Seahawks’ throwing errors to earn a win in Stockton on Tuesday.
Despite amassing eight hits, Cabrillo was unable to capitalize on the runners its managed to get on base, as the Seahawks left eight men stranded.
They will play the third and final game of the regular season series against S.J.D.C. in Stockton today.
• Cabrillo 7, Gavilan 6 - The Seahawks stifled a five-run comeback attempt in the third inning by the Gavilan College Rams to emerge victorious in Aptos on Tuesday.
Freshman catcher Nichole Garcia drove in the go-ahead run for Cabrillo by blasting a homer in the fourth inning to push the Seahawks’ conference record to 2-1.
It was the first time the Seahawks were able to play on their home field since Feb. 23, when they lost 4-3 to the College of the Siskiyous.
The Seahawks are set to play three games over the next seven days, including a make-up game against West Valley College.
Cabrillo will play in Aptos again on March 21. It will host the Foothill College Owls.