East County Sports

Kings take series from rival Guardians

The Kings defend against the Guardians on Saturday. / @Chante.Shoots




Special to EastCountySports.com


EL CAJON – The San Diego Kings came from ten points down in to win the season series against the San Diego Guardians, 118-111, last Saturday night at El Cajon Valley High.

James Hancock earned his most impressive double-double yet, scoring 28 points and grabbing 28 rebounds as the Kings won the second of three games this season with the rival Guardians.

“The game is so much easier when you have bigs like James, Marcus Bell and Julian Sampah who can all eat up the boards.” said the Kings’ Manny Perez, who was the leading scorer for the sixth time this season with 29 points and 7 rebounds. ”It allows me to step out and hit outside shots.”

Kings coach Davion Famber was ecstatic about the win because the Kings own the rivalry in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Kings’ Ray Williams (camouflage) defends against the Guardians on Saturday night. / @Chante.shoots

“I’m happy about this win but I’m not surprised,” Famber said. “When we play our style, which is strong defensive pressure and getting out in transition we are tough to beat. They came out tough in the first, but the game is never won in the first quarter, we wanted to keep it close and when it was our time to close the game, we did that.”

The Kings were down 10 94-84 with 9:22 left in the fourth.

But the Kings were able to pick up their defense and Perez scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help narrow the deficit. A Hancock put back allowed the Kings to take a 108-107 lead, their first lead of the game since the second quarter.

Once they had the momentum the Kings continued to get great penetration from Braxton Smith, who found Ray Williams for a corner three to put the Kings up 114-109 with 34 seconds left in the game.

It became a free-throw contest for the Kings, who made their free-throws down the stretch to get the 118-111 victory.

Spencer Mattox and Alec Calloway brought efficiency and energy off the bench.

Mattox scored 13 points and went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. He was able to find gaps in the defense and constantly drew contact from Guardians defenders.

The Kings’ Manny Perez, who tallied 29 points, puts up a shot against the Guardians on Saturday. / @jacksonbogdanphotography

“People don’t know Mattox can really score the rock,” Famber said. “He’s doing what he needs to do for us right now, which is give us great energy on defense and make plays on offense. I’m loving it.”

Calloway scored 12 points off the bench and was active on the offensive glass and finishing around the rim.

“Calloway played fantastic tonight,” Famber said. “He has given us his all this year. He’s stayed patient. He found his rhythm by getting after the offensive rebounds and he finished. Proud of his effort.”

The Kings are now on a five-game winning streak and are among some of the best teams in the ABA this season.

San Diego came into this game ranked 15th in the nation and the Guardians were ranked tied for 25th in the nation.

This week’s rankings show San Diego moving up to a tie for 10th in the league’s national rankings.

The Kings will host XvsX on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at El Cajon Valley High.


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