East County Sports

So near, but yet so far, for G-House – again

Grossmont and Palomar compete under the basket Friday night in San Marcos.



By Tom Saxe
© East County Sports.com
SAN MARCOS (1-23-16) — For the second time this week, Grossmont College came close in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North Division men’s basketball game on Friday night (Jan. 22). And, for the second time, the Griffins lost a heartbreaker, this time to Palomar 69-66 at The Dome.

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Grossmont and Palomar battle Friday night.

Grossmont was coming off a near-upset against Mt. San Jacinto on the road Wednesday. The Eagles, ranked fourth in Southern California and No. 7 in the state, held on to win that one 68-61.

After the first week of division play, the G-House finds itself a frustrating 0-2 (11-9 overall) despite back-to-back strong performances. By winning Friday, the Comets are 2-0 (13-7 overall) and alone atop the division for now, as Mt. San Jacinto had a bye Friday.

KAELEN MITCHELL turned in another big effort for the Griffins with 20 points, high on the night for both teams. He went 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. DANIEL McCOWN was the only other Grossmont player in double figures, with 10 points. SPENCER VERING and LeANDRE POWELL each tallied 9 points.

Deven Riley led four players in double figures for Palomar with 19 points.

Grossmont, trailing 9-0 after the game’s first 3 minutes, 17 seconds, battled back to lead by 29-25 with the clock winding down in the opening half before the Comets knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to go back in front.

The Griffins came back out for the second half trailing 31-29 and immediately took control of the game, going on a 10-0 run to begin the half on a basket by CORWIN FEERICK, back-to-back 3-pointers by Mitchell and LUKE JACKSON and another basket by Vering to lead 39-31. At that point the momentum shifted again as the Comets went on a 20-0 run behind Riley’s 14 points to go back on top 51-39.

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Grossmont attempts a three-pointer against Palomar Friday night in San Marcos.

Grossmont eventually had to start fouling as the second half wore on and the clock clicked down. But Palomar, which had made only two of eight free throws in the first half, converted 12 attempts from the foul line down the stretch to account for a large chunk of its final 21 points.

The Griffins got hot again at the end on a free throw by REMY LAWLER, 3-point buckets by MARCOS MEZA and Vering and baskets by LeAndre Powell and Meza but could never fight all the way back. Meza’s 3-pointer at the final buzzer cut the final margin to three points.

Vering and Powell each finished with 9 points for Grossmont, and Meza led the Griffins both in rebounds (9) and assists (4).

Coach DOUG WEBER’s Griffs will play their home North Division opener on Wednesday (Jan. 27) against San Diego Miramar at 6 p.m.

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