East County Sports


Grossmont's BRYCE PARSONS controls the ball on Friday night against Mesa. / photo by Tammy Ryan - TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

A Mesa College player drives against Grossmont. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY



By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (2-2-2018) – Records and rankings may change, but the rivalries typically remain the same.

Grossmont started the evening record-wise at 15-7, 4-1, while San Diego Mesa was 5-15, 2-3 coming in.

DOUBLE ZEROS: Grossmont and Mesa tipoff on Friday night at the Griffins’ gym. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY.

In addition to the records, the Griffs are ranked 15th in Southern California as of January 29, with the conference win this evening over the Olympians, 79-72, the Griffins should be on the rise.

Grossmont flew out like water through an open floodgate to start the first half of play, as Griffins’ sophomore BRYCE PARSONS hit the first two buckets and Grossmont was up 4-2 early.

For the first 10 minutes, Grossmont appeared to have the game well in hand on both sides of the ball.

At one point, Grossmont was up 23-10, with 9:43 left in the first half. However, the visiting Olympians capitalized on a few missed shots by Grossmont and with 2:51 left in the first, they were back in business down 32-25.

The Griffin defense held Mesa superstar, ARMSTRONG OJUNKWU, to only 3 points in the first half of play, but Mesa rallied to within 3, 35-32 at intermission.

For Mesa, MORRIE NEELEY led the scoring with 14 points, a pair of steals and a successful 3-point shot.

Grossmont’s BRYCE PARSONS led the scoring assault in the first half with 16 points, 3 assists, 4 rebounds, and a 3-pointer.

After taking a quick breather, the Griffins got back to work in a hurry, as these conference contests at this point in the season are very competitive and important to win.

OSCAR LIMON hit a three-pointer in the first half for the Griffins.

GC led 44-40 at halftime.

The opening play of the second half, was a beautiful dunk shot made by Grossmont’s RONALD BLAIN, after the shot, play had to take an official time out.

The concern was that the support for the glass may have been bent by Blain’s force.

Just a few minutes passed to verify that the brace was safe and we were back in business.

It was a back-and-forth affair very similar to the opening game of conference play at San Diego Mesa, where the Griffins had to play tough at the end of that game, in which they were victorious at the buzzer 65-62.

BRYCE PARSONS was on fire, with 30 points, 1 steal, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 3-pointer made.

Grossmont’s DAVID WHEELER goes up with a shot on Friday. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

RONALD BLAIN had 17 points, 11 rebounds, and one 3-pointer made for GC.

DAVID WHEELER, also of Grossmont, had 16 points, 1 steal, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds.

“Yeah, the ball was falling my way tonight, and as usual RONALD BLAIN and I were on the same page,” Grossmont Sophomore BRYCE PARSONS said. “We knew we had to stop their shooters, as well as the big man, and I felt we did a great job, for the most part. “

When asked about next week’s game against San Diego City, the No. 1 team in Southern California, at San Diego City, which has only lost two games this season, and the Griffins have lost twice at home against the Knights.

“It would be a huge win if we pull this one off, and would also be a nice confidence booster going into the playoffs,” said Parsons.

The second hero of the night, and chosen as PCAC player of the week, RONALD BLAIN, had a few words regarding tonight and about facing San Diego City at their house next week.

“Tonight I just came out and knew mentally I had to be aggressive, and better with my touches in the second half,” Blain said. “Bryce was on fire tonight and deserves a lot of the credit for tonight. I was very excited to hear that I was chosen

“I was very excited to hear that I was chosen player of the week for the conference. It meant a lot to me but did not satisfy
me by any means.

“Beating City is something we’ve dreamed about doing. And it’s happening next Wednesday.

“I believe the key to beating City, eliminate live-ball turnovers, play aggressively from start to finish, and
finish at the rim, while decreasing their large scoring runs.”

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