CYPRESS -- The Orange Coast College women's basketball team opened with a win at the Cypress College Lady Charger Classic before dropping the final two games this past weekend.
Coast (6-3) opened strong with an 88-74 win over Grossmont on Day 1. OCC used a 34-16 second quarter to carry a comfortable 51-29 lead into halftime. From there the Pirates cruised to victory and advanced to the championship semifinals.
It was a different story in the semifinals against Palomar as the Comets rolled to a 77-44 win. Palomar's relentless press defense was too much for the Pirates as Palomar (8-2) forced 25 OCC turnovers and led 48-18 at the half.
That dropped the Pirates to the third-place game, where they played host Cypress. There, the Chargers overcame an early deficit to prevail, 81-76.
Coast led 23-9 in the first quarter before the Chargers (6-2) came alive and began to chip away into the deficit.
Cypress drew even with OCC at 50-50 with 5:10 left in the third quarter before finishing the quarter on a 14-4 run to grab the lead.
Coast fought back and pulled even at 75 on a 3-pointer by McCullough with 2:57 left in the game. But the Pirates were held to just one made free throw the rest of the way as the Chargers used a made layup and two made free throws by Bianca Silva to pull away for good.
McCullough led the way with 20 points, making 6-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point ranger and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. Sakamoto added 16 points, while Jenna Miramontez hit three 3-pointers on her way to nine points.
The Pirates will return to action on Thursday against Rio Hondo at the Irvine Valley College Tournament, beginning at 4 p.m.