CMC’s Watson named conference Athlete of the Month

Fighting Cacti Lelisa Watson pushes past the Mt. San Jacinto defense for a layup in a game played at the Bell Center Jan. 25.

JOSHUA TREE — The Inland Empire Athletic Conference has named Lelisa Watson of Copper Mountain College as the January IEAC female Athlete of the Month.

Watson is a sophomore guard on the Fighting Cacti women’s basketball team.

She averaged 32 points per game in January, which includes a 53-point performance against College of the Desert on Jan. 18.

“Some games as a coach, you get caught up being a spectator,” said head coach Ken Simonds.

“We were in awe of what Lelisa was able to do in her 53-point game. She had the hot hand early and her teammates kept finding her.”

Watson was 7 of 12 from the 3-point line, forcing the Roadrunners to extend their defense to the perimeter. After the defensive adjustment, Watson then aggressively started driving to the basket.

“Lelisa is a hard worker who truly earns all the accolades she gets,” said Simonds.

“She has the ability to score both inside and out. She plays both ends of the floor and is a very good rebounder for her position. She is a great teammate and is very coachable.”

Watson currently leads both the conference and state in scoring.

She came to Joshua Tree from Page, Arizona.

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