East County Sports

Griffins can’t get spark vs. Knights

Grossmont' BRYCE PARSONS inbounds the ball on Wednesday night.



By Dave Dickens


Grossmont’s RON BLAIN puts up a shot against San Diego City College on Wednesday night.

EL CAJON (01-17-2018) – Coming into Wednesday evening’s battle of two of the three teams tied the for first for the Pacific Coast South lead, San Diego City, ranked number 2 in the CCCMBCA state poll, and the host Grossmont College Griffins, also tied for first in the Pacific Coast South and ranked number 19 in the CCCMBCA state poll, figured to draw attention.

The San Diego City Knights, winners of 13 straight coming into tonight’s second league contest, also had defeated the Griffins at the Grossmont College Invitational Championship game back on December 3, 2017, 96-67, and haven’t been defeated since they dropped a close one, 77-75. at Citrus on November 19, 2017.

The Griffins came in on a 3-game winning streak after they wore San Diego Mesa down last Friday night for an impressive come from behind league win, 65-63.

Both squads looked fired up to play this one, which was surprising that the bleachers were not completely filled considering the way local media was publicizing this contest as a must watch, and indeed it was.

You could definitely hear and smell rivalry in the air.

A local source explained that the social media online talk back and forth was really heating up, although competition-wise this game was incredibly physical.

Grossmont’s leading scorer and rebounder at the end of the first half, RONALD BLAIN, was indeed ok after he was shaken up late in the first half.

There were a few seconds left on the clock in the first half, he went down and he did return in the second half.

The score at the end of the first half was 37-29, Knights.

The largest lead the Knights had at one point in the early in the second half with 18:43 left was 17, 50-33.

Shortly thereafter Grossmont head coach DOUG WEBER had seen enough and promptly called a timeout.

Livid with the way the Griffins were playing early in the second half, Weber is one of the most patient, well put-together coaches in the conference, however, along with questionable calls by the officiating crew and several mental mistakes by the Griffins, it was time to set the players straight, and indeed he did.

The improved performance was almost immediate, both offensively and defensively, as the Griffins went on a 6-0 run to make it a manageable 50-39 contest.

The strategy for S.D. City was to beat the Griffins offensively was from outside the key, hitting three-point shots left and right, and for a little over half of the game, Grossmont didn’t have an answer defensively.

The Knights were 12-for-30 in regard to the three-pointers, while the Griffins were only 4-for-15 for three-pointers, but that was never the strategy for Grossmont.

Grossmont, however, was very impressive driving to the basket, BRYCE PARSONS in particular.

The Griffs fought hard this time around against a star-studded cast in which they lost by 30 over a month ago, to lose by 5, 77-72.

Grossmont against San Diego City on Wednesday.

This team has one more meeting with the number 2 ranked Knights on February 7th at San Diego City, as maybe the next meeting the Griffins will take to the different venue and Grossmont might just knock off the Knights to prime themselves for the playoffs shortly thereafter.

“City is a very physical team so we knew we had to match that, and I felt like we did a really fantastic job defensively, unfortunately, we fell short in the end,” said Grossmont sophomore BRYCE PARSONS.

“We do play (City) one more time, and I feel like it will be another close game but hopefully we end
up on top, and I do feel Ronald Blain and I were on the same page tonight,” Parsons said.

The sophomore tandem was right on point as the two top scorers, as Parsons led with 25 total points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist, while Blain, who took a nasty fall at the end of the first half, had 22 points, 1 steal, and 1 block.

Grossmont falls to 12-7 (1-1 PCS), and now their ranking may drop, but it will play at Imperial Valley (2-15, 0-2), and Imperial Valley has lost 6-straight.

Grossmont should be heavily favored.

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