East County Sports

Knights make opportunity, but Owls take win

By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

DOWNTOWN (12-15-2018) – You hear coaches shouting this all the time.
“Just give me one stop,” the coach might ask the defense, or “Just make (for) me one shot,” when it comes to offense.

Despite a handful of defensive blotches in the first half, San Diego City College got its “one” play to carry the momentum and actually a fourth-quarter lead. But down the stretch, it was Citrus which made just a few more shots to take a 75-71 decision in Friday’s (Dec. 14) non-conference game at Harry West Gymnasium.

Despite problems with various versions of man-to-man defense by SDCC, it was Knights guard Breeana Gafare who gave the Knights a major push by hitting a half-court shot as the first half concluded.

Suddenly, all of the defensive problems in the opening 20 minutes seems to vanish, even though Citrus was once on pace to score more than 100 points after the Owls got into the bonus situation less than four minutes into the contest.

City attempted to pick up full court, which got the Knights into immediate foul trouble, including four backcourt fouls over five possessions. Then they went to a standard man-to-man set-up, but the Owls either drove to the basket, punched the defense then hit a teammate breaking in from the weak side. And when the City defense stopped the ball, Citrus would quickly kick the ball outside for a 3-point shot.

However, Gafare’s bomb saw a different Knights squad emerge from the locker room. Trailing 47-43, the Knights limited the Owls to just eight points in the third quarter to grab a 60-55 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, the Citrus defense made several stops, tying the game at 67-all with four minutes remaining, when Citrus forward Kyannie Brown took command.

Brown sank a 5-footer from the paint to take the lead, part of her game-best 27 points. She hit 12-of-16 shots from the floor and also grabbed 12 rebounds.

And when Citrus guard Keely Wall dribbled past her defender for a layin with 1:33 left, the rest of the game was a free throw derby to the advantage of the Owls.

Early on, when the defense fluttered, San Diego City saw a nice scoring to avoid getting blown out in the first half.

Already down by 11 in the first period and about to lose touch with Citrus, Knights forward Elliott Nixon grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the putback, igniting a scoring run.

Alissa Wolfblack followed with a deep 2-pointer (she was on the line), Imani Trinidad hit a triple on her lone shot of the contest, then Elliott Nixon hit a baseline jumper from just outside the paint to allow City to close the quarter making four straight shots from the floor.

For SDCC (3-6), Gafare led the team with 17 points while grabbing 9 boards, Nixon added 14 points, Wofblack had 13, while Kaylynn Cooper posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
For Citrus (6-4), Diana Navarro posted 19 points and 5 assists. She was one three Owls forced to play all 40 minutes due to the team traveling with just seven uniformed players.

Southwestern vs. Contra Costa: At Wilmington, this Los Angeles Harbor College Tournament first-round score was not reported by the host Seahawks. Southwestern entered with a 2-4 overall record; the Comets of Contra Costa, located in San Pablo, entered winless in 8 starts.

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