East County Sports

Lawyer’s MVP effort helps Griffins to own tourney title

2015-16 GROSSMONT COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (12-6-115) — Grossmont College is the champion of the 44th Annual Grossmont College Invitational for the second time in three years, after outlasting San Diego City College 74-68 on Sunday evening (Dec. 6) on their home floor.

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Lawyer is presented the tourney MVP award.

REMY LAWYER captured the tournament MVP honors by turning in an all-around standout performance in the Griffins’ championship win, including 18-points, seven rebounds, four assist and three steals.

Lawyer and MARCOS MEZA each had a stellar evening for the Griffins on the way to their title, and KAELEN MITCHELL turned in a third solid performance of the tournament to gain All-Tournament Team honors.

“Remy isn’t normally a big stat guy, but his energy keeps us going, he creates mismatches for a lot of defenses. He’s come a long way since the first game of the season” assistant coach KEVIN BUTTY said about the Griffins MVP.

Grossmont trailed City for much of the night, but the steady play of Meza and Lawyer along with a solid performance late from SPENCER VERING helped the Griffins catch the Knights and close things out.

“I started to feel comfortable when we went on that big run late with about eight minutes left and they had to call a timeout,” Meza said of the Griffins’ second half performance. Grossmont trailed 41-32 early in the second half before an 8-0 run capped by a Lawyer jumper in the paint cut the Knights’ lead to one at 41-40.

Two DANIEL McCOWN free throws with 14:21 to play in the second half gave Grossmont their first lead of the night at 45-44. With 7:19 to play Taylor Nelson scored his fifth straight point for City, giving the Knights a 56-52 lead and it seemed like the Griffins’ title hopes were disappearing. However, McCown then went on a 6-0 run of his own for Grossmont, reclaiming the lead for the Griffins 58-56 with 5:52 to play and Grossmont never relinquished the lead again.

Griffins head coach DOUG WEBER was more than happy with the play of his guards after the crown-clinching victory.

“Our point play was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I think Marcos had maybe one turnover in three games. And he’s playing against guys that are cat quick, he’s facing seven footers, and he just goes out and he plays well. Remy has so much of what a coach wants. He plays hard, he makes great decisions, he doesn’t always fill up the stats but he’s there. He’s always there.

“We just wanted to go out there and do what we knew how to do and give them our all,” Lawyer said after the game. “We knew what they were all about and we needed a team effort tonight – that’s what we got.”

When asked about the year ahead and the long break between the Griffins’ last loss and the start of the Invitational, Coach Weber noted what he was pleased to see in his team.

“Our guys had basically two weeks off since we last played a game. We added a football guy in during that time (QUADARIUS FAIR), and the team really welcomed him. At this point no one should really be overlooking us, but if they do, that’s okay. This helps us to set the bar higher. We don’t have the excuse to go out and get blown out by a bad team by 20 points now, we’ve seen how we can play and it helps us raise the bar on what we expect of ourselves from this point out.”

Grossmont notched 22-points off turnovers in the championship win and erased a five point half time deficit by improving on their 36.7 percent shooting performance over the first 20-minutes with a solid 60.0 percent from the floor in the second half.

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