East County Sports

Kings open season with wins in Arizona

The San Diego Kings during their season-opening road trip




Special to EastCountySports.com


The San Diego Kings started the 2019-20 Season right with a 113-112 victory over the Phoenix Valley Outlaws in the season opener of the ABA’s 2019-20 Campaign.

Captain Manny Perez led the Kings with 21 Points and nine Rebounds, hitting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

The Kings controlled the tempo early by forcing turnovers and converting in transition allowing them to jump out to an 11-2 led by two smooth pull-up jumpers from Braxton Smith and a timely three from Damian Elam. But the Outlaws started to heat up and eventually regained the lead 26-25 to end the first quarter.

The second quarter is where the Kings started to separate themselves. You saw a lot of the bench for the Kings create that separation, led by guard Ray Williams, who finished the night with 10 points and 4 steals. 

It’s important for us to get out and run,” Williams said. “It suits our team better, but if we need to slow it down, we can because we have good point guards that have high basketball IQ’s and will run offense to get us the best shot on the floor.”

Big man Mason Bell scored six of his 10 points in the second, dunking on a defender in the post off a nice pass from Williams and ripping the ball from an Outlaw player to take it coast-to-coast for another dunk.

The Kings got 51 points out of their bench and were able to mix and match their lineups to keep their momentum going throughout the Second and Third Quarter.

First-year assistant Rod Cooksey said this year’s bench is as good as its ever been for the Franchise.

“We have a really deep bench and it was very big to see players come in and contribute for the entire game,” Cooksey said. “Our bench guys rose to the occasion tonight and that’s encouraging to see.”

The Kings went into the fourth with a 16-point lead, but sloppy possessions on offense created more opportunities for the Outlaws to get in transition and force foul calls on the Kings.

The 16-point lead that the Kings had at the beginning of the fourth was now cut to two with 2:05 left in the Fourth.

Two clutch free throws from Elam helped secure a 113-109 lead. But an Outlaw hit a buzzer-beater 3 to make it a 113-112 win for the San Diego Kings.

“We lost the lead because of careless turnovers and not sustaining our level of intensity.” Said Cooksey. “It has to be better next game.”




Special to EastCountySports.com


The San Diego Kings are 2-0 to begin the 2019-20 Campaign after a hard-fought 117-107 win on the road against the Tucson Buckets Sunday afternoon.

The Kings were once again benefitted by strong bench play getting 52 Points from there bench, reminiscent to the night before when they got 51 points from their bench in a 113-112 victory over the Phoenix Valley Outlaws.

The main reason their bench was so dominant was because of guard Deionte Jones, who dropped 20 points off the bench, 11 of them coming in the first quarter.

Ray Williams was able to connect with the high-flying Nick Ross on a beautiful alley-oop to give the Kings a 14-10 lead in the first.

Williams was really impressed with the amount of production that his teammates are putting in early in the season.

“For our first two games of the season, we had six players score in double-figures in both games,” Williams said. ‘Things will only get better as the season goes on and players start to learn their positions and begin to trust each other more.

The Kings led 34-29 after the first quarter and were able to grow their lead to 10 mid-way with constant ball pressure from their 2-2-1 press and full-court man defense. But the Buckets did exactly what their name says, they continued to answer whatever run the Kings made and these two teams went back and forth.

The Kings continued to press until the end of the game creating turnovers and really controlling the boards throughout the game and forced the Buckets into taking bad shots. Point guard Williams distributed the ball nicely handing out 9 assists in the win.

Manny Perez continued his hot shooting from the night before putting in 19 points, going 5-10 from downtown. Jones and Perez combined to shoot 11-19 from 3pt range.

Marcus Shep added 17 Points off the bench and scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half.

Center Marcus Bell recorded his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 15 rebounds (7 on the offensive end)

The Kings will now head home and prepare for their home opener against the Orange County NovaStars on November 9. Tip-off jumps at  6 p.m.

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