The article below originally appeared in the Menlo Park Patch and is being reprinted with permission.

Skyline College's Rachelle Hwee (right) attempts a layup while defended by College of San Mateo's Nicole McDonald in a Coast-North opener in San Mateo on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. CSM won 81-68.

Skyline College's Rachelle Hwee (right) attempts a layup while defended by College of San Mateo's Nicole McDonald in a Coast-North opener in San Mateo on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. CSM won 81-68.

The Score: CSM 81, Skyline 68.

The Star: College of San Mateo forward Trish Malaspina dominated on both sides of the ball in sparking her team to a 20-point lead early in the second quarter. The 5-foot-10 sophomore out of Burlingame High scored a team-high 21 points to pace the Bulldogs to an 81-68 home win against rival Skyline in a Coast-North Conference opener.

The Quote: “I’m proud of my girls. They learned … they learned in the preseason that every team is gonna go on a rut. Every team is gonna have its ups and downs, sometimes refs are gonna make questionable calls. You just gotta keep playing because you can only control what you do.” – CSM coach Michelle Warner, on her team’s win and how far the Bulldogs have come from being young and inexperienced at the beginning of the season.

The Turning Point: After repeatedly pounding the glass, the Bulldogs went on a late 14-1 run. With 12 minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs took a commanding 60-39 lead, leaving Skyline no chance for a comeback.

What’s Next? CSM will visit Chabot, which beat the Bulldogs last year in a pivotal final game of the season. Returning point guard Charnay Bell posed problems for CSM with her ability to get into the lane and make shots. The teams meet on Friday at 5 p.m.

The Bottom Line: CSM’s combination of size and speed was a hard mix for Skyline to overcome. Malaspina had her way on the offensive glass and capably defended the paint. The Bulldogs held Skyline to 30 percent shooting from the field.


The College of San Mateo women’s basketball team wiped away the sour taste of two 20-point losses with an 81-68 home win against rival Skyline in the opening game of the Coast-North Conference season on Wednesday night.

CSM (6-9, 1-0 Coast-North) outmuscled and outhustled the smaller Trojans, who managed to keep affairs close for the first 15 minutes.

Skyline (8-6, 0-1) scored efficiently early in the first half thanks to Kelly Huey’s swift ball-handling and scoring ability. Huey went head-to-head with CSM star Trish Malaspina, as they traded baskets one after the other.

The Bulldogs wasted no time establishing their post player in the first minutes of the game. Malaspina, a Burlingame High product, scored off the post, from the elbow and from inbound plays, as well as being the beneficiary of the guards’ penetration.

Huey displayed her range in nailing back-to-back 3-pointers, one of them to beat the buzzer to shorten the Bulldogs’ lead to one point.

CSM freshman forward Kimmie Fung scored a lefty layup on a fastbreak to give her team a 43-31 halftime lead. The Bulldogs had a very effective first half shooting the ball, centered by Malaspina’s inside play.

CSM started the second half clicking on all cylinders, playing inside out and making shots from the outside to balance out the dominant inside play that got the hosts to the line often.

“We knew they were gonna put up a fight, so we needed to use our height and outrebound them and that played out for us,” said Malaspina.

But the most important thing contributing to the Bulldogs’ success was their execution — they filled the lanes correctly and rotated effectively to create openings, and the guards crashed the boards to the point where the rebounding disparity had an obvious impact on the game.

“When our guards rebound, it just makes the pace faster,” said freshman guard Clarissa Mendoza, a Westmoor alum. “We are able to push the ball and outrun their guards.”

As the lead grew bigger, the game got more chippy, so with 12 minutes remaining, CSM coach Michelle Warner took her starters out after getting out to a 60-39 lead.

Though the Trojans made some runs in the waning moments, CSM held on to earn its first conference win.

The Bulldogs will visit Chabot on Friday at 5 p.m., hoping to earn a measure of payback against the team that ended their season last year.


CSM 81, Skyline 68

SC – 31 37 – 68

CSM – 43 38 – 81

SC: Arenas 4 0-0 12, Hwee 3 3-4 9, Peel 2 0-0 4, Huey 7 6-8 23, Johnson 3 3-6 9, Chew 3 1-4 8, Lotti 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 8-17 68.

CSM: Roth 1 2-2 4, Orje 2 0-0 5, Castillo 4 3-4 12, Rhodes 1 0-0 2, Mendoza 1 0-0 3, McDonald 1 4-4 6, Wallace 2 0-0 4, Thomas 2 3-6 7, Fung 4 0-1 8, Ward 2 0-0 4, Piccolotti 1 2-3 5, Malaspina 8 5-8 21. Totals: 29 20-30 81.

3-point goals: SC: Arenas 4, Huey 3, Chew. CSM: Orje, Castillo, Piccolotti.

Records: Skyline 8-6, 0-1 Coast-North. CSM 6-9, 1-0.