East County Sports

Griffins’ season-opening win over Bakersfield full of promise



By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

RIVERSIDE (11-14-15) — In the first game under the new rules for the Grossmont College Griffins, they took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back as they took a 63-56 victory in their first game of the season.

COURTNEY BRANCH (Patrick Henry) and JAZMINE BRADLEY (Monte Vista) each had a team-high 14 points in the victory.  FELICIA PORTER (Monte Vista) and DOMINIQUE MORRISON (Santana) were the “chairwomen of the boards” as head coach KAREN CAIRES stated after the game, noting the duo were the leading rebounders in the game.

Four minutes into the first quarter Morrison made a jumper to tie the score at 8-all.  Over the next three minutes, both teams traded rebounds until ASHTYN HURRELL (Coronado) made a layup to put the Griffins (1-0) on top for the first time at 10-8.  Bakersfield (1-3) hit a three literally two seconds later to move back ahead 11-10.  Hurrell would hit a layup to tie the game up again after Bakersfieldhad hit a free throw.  Over the final 80 seconds of the quarter Bakersfield would outscore the Griffins 4-2 to give the Renegades a 16-14 lead after 10 minutes of play.

Thirty seconds into the second quarter Bakersfield made a free throw to move up by three.  Bradley then hit a layup to pull the Griffins to within one at 17-16.  Bakersfield hit the first of three straight three pointers, they would hit seven of their 18 long distance shots, and gain a 28-21 lead with four minutes remaining until halftime.  JOANNA DELA CRUZ (El Cajon Valley) hit a three pointer that launched the Griffins on a 9-0 run to end the half and gain the 30-28 lead at halftime.

“It was a battle for both teams,” Caires said.

The run would continue after the break as the Griffins would hit a jumper 15 seconds into the second half. The Griffins went on to outscore the Renegades 33-28 over the back half of the game.

“We have a lot to work on, but it was a good first game of the season,” head coach Caires said.

Grossmont had most of the stat categories in their favor.  The Griffins had more rebounds and assists, forced more turnovers, had more second chance points, bench points and had the largest lead of the game at 11 in the middle portion of the fourth quarter.

“I can’t wait to see the freshmen develop this season, if they do develop as much as I think they will, we could have a team that challenges for the top half of the PCAC North,” Caires proclaimed.

The Griffins will take on the host Riverside (2-1) today at 7 p.m. at Wheelock Gymnasium on the campus of Riverside Community College.

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