Kings humble rival Guardians; rematch on Saturday
- Updated: November 24, 2019
2019-20 SAN DIEGO KINGS BASKETBALL
KINGS 110, GUARDIANS 77
By Damon Sloan
Special to East CountySports.com
EL CAJON – With all the trash talk on social media over the last couple of weeks, the talk was over and now the dust has settled. The San Diego Kings handled business Saturday night as they wiped out the San Diego Guardians, 110-77, in their first matchup of the season.
The Kings played a perfect game offensively, being well balanced all night with great ball movement and once again putting up over 100 points again this season. They were able to empty their bench at the end of the game and held the Guardians to 41 percent shooting from the field.
Kings head coach Davion Famber was elated to beat the Guardians in their first matchup and was proud to get his entire bench in the game.
“We played 20 guys tonight,” Famber explained. “Once again everyone that played was able to score and it truly shows how much depth we have overall. Once we were able to get shots to fall late in that first, they didn’t have an answer for us and we cruised to a victory.”
The game was competitive early as both teams came out playing very physical defense with fouls being called on both teams. Famber said it’s what they expected in their first matchup with the Guardians.
“We knew coming into this game that it was going to be physical,” Famber said. “But we got guys on this roster that are built for these types of games. They played on emotion and once we started getting shots to fall, we were rolling.”
Marcus Bell led the charge with a monster double-double, scoring 15 points and 15 rebounds with two blocks to go with it. He scored his first six in the first quarter and helped the Kings push their lead in the first quarter alongside Damian Elam, who was able to make great drives to the basket and get to the free-throw line.
“In that first half, we were tense and we made mistakes, but we settled in and took over early in the game,” Elam explained. “We played well together and we shared the basketball.”
Elam said the focus was to be keen on the defensive end and not give up extra shots.
“We wanted to make it a focus to play collectively on the defensive end,” Elam said. “We haven’t been rebounding the ball lately, so going into this game, we made it an emphasis to play solid defense and support each other and make sure we rotate. We were able to hold them to one shot per possession and we were able to get more shots than they did.”
Things got heated in the second quarter with James Haddock and Bell ruffling with Guardian players, which resulted in techs for Haddock and Bell in the process, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Guardians competitive. They allowed the Kings to get to the line 28 times and turned the ball over 24 times to give the Kings extra possessions and the Kings took advantage.
The Kings continued to push the pace in the second quarter, getting great drives out of Braxton Smith in the transition to boost the Kings lead. Elam hit an off-balance 25-footer to put the Kings up 54-38 at the half.
The Kings continued to pour on their lead in the third, getting three straight threes from Elam, Smith and Ray Williams, who shot 3-of-7 from deep and finished with 13 points and two steals.
Julian Sempah returned to action and finished with 11 points and four rebounds, playing steadily on the low block for the Kings and finding his stroke from 15 feet out in the third.
Jordan Holmes scored six points in the third, including a beautiful euro step that had the El Cajon Valley High gym buzzing. The Kings were up 81-57 going into the fourth.
Deonte Jones scored four of his eight in the fourth, along with four rebounds.
Yuriy Kozhanov was another big contributor off the bench, scoring six points, including a four-pointer, the first for the Kings this season.
Guardians head coach Brandon Cheeks was disappointed that his team did not rise to the challenge.
“We didn’t compete for 48 minutes, they brought it and I felt like we didn’t come to compete tonight.”
When asked about the rematch next Saturday, Cheeks said, “Should be a good one.”
The first matchup between the Kings and Guardians is in the books and now they will rematch next Saturday.
This time it will be from the Guardians home of San Diego High School. The Kings will now take their 5-1 record into San Diego High and try to beat the Guardians (2-3), who look to get their record back to .500.
Catch the Kings next home game Dec. 7, when they host the ABA defending champion Jacksonville Giants from El Cajon High School. Follow the link below to get your Kings tickets today.