East County Sports

Griffs’ Lewis shows game to beat City


East County Sports staff report

EL CAJON (1-19-2019) – Give Grossmont College credit: the Griffins don’t duck playing quality competition in order to improve.

So when the G-House got smacked by No 5 ranked L.A. Trade-Tech by 77 points to open January, the coaching staff knew there would be a payoff. That return of investment came Friday (Jan. 18).

Despite trailing for three periods, Grossmont kept its composure in the middle of a close contest to take control in the fourth quarter, utilizing a 21-14 advantage in the final period to shock defending South Division champion San Diego City, 47-41, in the ballclubs’ Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener.

Take about a major bounce-back by the Griffins (3-12 overall), who share the extremely early division lead with Imperial Valley. The setback ended the Knights’ 12-game win streak in conference action.

Freshman guard Hannah Lewis, who scored just 23 points all season, came off the bench in the fourth period to key the Griffins. She tallied 8 of her game-high 18 points over the final 10 minutes. Her previous high was 5 points in the season-opener against Glendale.

Lewis connected on 6-of-9 shots from the field, but more importantly, was a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line in the closing moments. She is the club’s second-leading foul shooter.

City carried a narrow 27-26 lead through three periods, but the lone basket of the contest by Devann Horton put Grossmont in front just 44 seconds into the fourth period.

Knights guard Elliott Nixon answered with a triple to re-claim the lead as the punching match started but both sides landing scoring blows.

Lewis was fouled on a drive to the basket, making a pair of foul shots to again tie the battle, then Lewis sank a depp triple for a 33-30 lead  City guard Alissa Wolfblack answered with a pair of free throws, then Kiley Pope sank a triple to move the Knights back in front 4:34 to go.

Finally, Grossmont solved City’s man-to-man defense with a 15-6 run to close the battle.

Satori Robertson nailed a short jumper to again pull the team level at 35-all with 4:18 remaining, then another Lewis drive to the basket by beating her defender on the dribble led to a go-aead layin with 3:23 left.

Chiara Mattern, who struggled from beyond the arc all contest (1-for-12), then finally nailed her second triple. The clutch basket pushed the Griffins to a 5-point lead.

And when Drew Mendoza also beat her defender on the dribble for a layin at the 2-minute mark, the lead was seven and the Griffins clinched their upset.

“(Grossmont WON) Because they’re playing hard,daidf Karen Caires, who is taking a sabbatical from coaching this season, yet is on the recruiting trail. “Tough scheduling pays off in conference play. That’s why I am so proud of our players, who kept their focus, learned and got better despite the losses, and are prepared for the conference.”

For Grossmont, Mendoza finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds, while Horton added 7 points and 13 boards.

For San Diego City (8-10 overall, 0-1 PCAC)), Pope registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, but the Knights shot a mere 21.9 percent (14-for-64) from the floor. Pope also led SDCC with 4 assists and 4 steals.
While Grossmont accepted several hard knocks in the early going with a roster filled mostly with freshmen, City’s philosophy was completely different.

Following a season-opening victory over Citrus (11-7), City’s other seven triumphs came against sub-standard ballclubs which own a composite mark of 16-90 (.151). Included were two games against both College of the Desert (0-16) and Porterville (3-13).

Southwestern 68, San Bernardino Valley 38: This might be the poorest SBVC Wolverines ballclub since they started the program in the late 1970s and were known as the Indians, even with a nationally-known coach who couldn’t recruit very well.

At Chula Vista, the Jaguars blanked the visitors throughout the entire first quarter (0-for-13 on field goals) before yielding a 3-point goal to snap the blanking over a span of 10:17 in a one-sided non-conference contest.

Jags guard Sierra Simanek came off the bench to tally a game-high 18 points for Southwestern (9-8 overall, 1-0 PCAC), while forward Satera Bates added 14 points.

In addition, forward Maya Robinson twice landed on the lucky Chinese number of 8  – her total for both points and rebounds.

For San Bernardino Valley (4-11,0-1 PCAC), Emani McMeans also scored a game-high 18 points, but did it on poor 6-for-32 shooting from the floor.

Still, the rest of the ballclub shot a poor composite of 5-for-29 (17.2 percent).

Palomar 94, Desert 31: At San Marcos, the state-ranked Comets played a winless Roadrunners squad. It’s no wonder the hosts won by more than 60 points in this one-sided PCAC opener at Palomar Dome.

The Comets led 23-5 after one period, 49-13 at the half… you get the idea.

For Palomar (15-5 overall, 1-0 PCAC), leading scorer Julie Saelee tallied 15 points, one of six Comets to reach double figures in the scorebook. Imari Cooley added 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting, while Clarissa Taite posted 12 points and 5 assists.

For College of the Desert (0-16, 0-1 PCAC), Zuri Outlaw once again topped all Roadrunners with 9 points, while Destiny Frazier added 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Imperial Valley 61, San Diego Mesa 47: It’s only one game, yet the Lady Arabs share a piece of first place for the first time since winning the 2006-07 crown after again downing the visiting Olympians, this time in a PCAC contest at DePaoli Sports Complex in Imperial.

Eight days earlier, the two schools also met in a non-conferenced contest because there was simply no one else to play.

“When we (IVC and Mesa) were making our schedules last season, both of us had holes because all of the other leagues in Southern California already starter league play,” said IVC head coach Vridiana Salas. “But when our conference schedule came out later and the games were so close to each other, we both said, ‘Oh, well.’”

This time, it was again the IVC pair of Destiny Salgado and Karen Hogue who led the way.

Salgado registered a team-best 17 points and 5 blocks, completing her double-double with 14 rebounds.

Hogue paced the backcourt with 16 points, also adding 6 assists and 5 steals for Imperial Valley (9-9 overall, 1-0 PCAC).

However, there was a new face among the Lady Arabs. For the first time this season, Giovana Estrada also gained a share of scoring honors, coming off the bench to contribute a career-high 17 points , plus 4 steals.

“:We had strong and solid defense tonight, shot the ball well from the perimeter,” Salas noted. “We had great communication on both defense and offense.”

San Diego Mesa (4-12, 0-1 PCAC) did not report.

Mt. San Jacinto 74, MiraCosta 71: At Oceanside, the defending state champion Eagles barely survived the fast-rising Spartans to claim this PCAC opener at Crosswoods Gymnasium.

How fast is MiraCosta improving? The Spartans actually led by 10 points at the end of the first period, sending the Eagles to a double-digit deficit for just the second time all season.

However, the Eagles gained a narrow 3-point lead by the half, then the teams were even in both the third and fourth quarters to allow Mt. San Jacinto to escape with the triumph.

Britney Neely led the MSJC (15-6 overall, 1-0 PCAC) with  16 points, while teammate Haylei Janssens added 11.

MiraCosta (11-5, 0-1 PCAC) did not report.

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