East County Sports

Guardians avenge loss to Kings, 148-109




By Damon Sloan

Special to EastCountySports.com


SAN DIEGO – After blowing out the San Diego Guardians a week prior, the San Diego Kings were unable to make it two in a row against their crosstown rival as they were stomped out, 148-109, this past Sunday at San Diego High School.

Turnovers and mental mistakes cost the Kings as they turned the ball over 21 times and only had 12 assists to show for it.

“We didn’t defend well at all this afternoon,” said Kings head coach Davion Famber. “We didn’t execute offensively and turnovers completely killed us.

Famber received two technical fouls in the third quarter after a disagreement with one of the referees and was ejected from the game.

Famber stated that his team knew that they were going into hostile territory and that the Guardians will play physical.

“Most of the Guardians players were talking trash but they deserve to, we just didn’t play well at all,” said the coach. “As far as the ref goes, he made a comment to me that was personal and I lost my cool. I accept full blame for that one.”

The first quarter started off competitively as both teams were able to find their rhythm offensively going back and forth scoring.

The Guardians were able to force a lot of turnovers on the Kings and it allowed them to command a nine-point lead late in the first. Damian Elam was able to hit an off-balance three to put the score at 30-36 at the end of the first.

The second quarter is where the Kings really let the lead slip away.

Manny Perez was given a technical foul early in the second and that prompted a 26-8 scoring run for the Guardians, making it 62-38 with 6:02 left in the second. The Kings never recovered.

Julian Sampah and Braxton Smith both received techs in the third and fourth and the Guardians continued to poor on their onslaught. They scored over 100 points in the third and led the way, 122-81, going into fourth and continued to build separation throughout the fourth. The Kings just had no answer.

Braxton Smith, who led the Kings with 32 points and four assists, reiterated the same message as Famber about the non-existent defense.

“The defense was just lackadaisical overall,” Smith said. “Ninety percent of defense is effort and we had none whatsoever. We didn’t rotate properly, and no communication, nothing.

When asked about all of the technical fouls, Smith understood that this game was going to be that way.

“I wouldn’t call it animosity, just two really competitive teams battling it out. When we get into intense games like this we have to keep a level head, coaches and players. It’s us against everybody.”

Deonte Jones scored 22 off the bench tonight going 6-of-10 from three-point range, including sinking a crazy full-court heave to count as a four-point shot to end the third quarter for the Kings. He expressed that not securing the rebounds was a crucial mistake in their loss.

“We let them get way too many rebounds,” Jones said. “They were hungrier than us and we didn’t play our best basketball.”

Guardian head coach Brandon Cheeks was pleased with his team’s performance and is happy to get back in the win column.

“It always feels good to bounce back after a loss,” Cheeks explained. “Our lack of intensity in the first meeting was uncharacteristic of us. Whether we make shots or miss them the intensity and effort must always be at the right level. Today played at the right level.”

Cheeks went on to say that getting key players back in the lineup changed the dynamic of the rematch.

“Having Diondrey Holt back in the lineup was huge,” said the coach. “He helped bring a spark on both ends of the floor and we were missing that in the first meeting.”

Perez finished the night with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Elam had 9 points and 4 rebounds. James Hancock had nine points and five rebounds and Julian Sampah finished the night with eight points.

The Kings will look to quickly bounce back this Saturday as they prepare for one of the biggest games of the season – a showdown with the defending ABA champion Jacksonville Giants.

It’s a home game for the Kings so make sure to visit the link below to get your tickets today.




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