East County Sports

City wins GC Invite; Griffs play 4 OTs

2021-22 COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON —- Based on the numbers, one could argue that Grossmont College is much closer to the top of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s basketball race rather than the bottom after a good showing at the 49th annual Grossmont College Invitational over the weekend.

Among the trio of PCAC entrants, the ballclubs finished 1-3-4, as San Diego City captured the championship with a dramatic win by a nose over Saratoga’s West Valley College. 64-63.

The Knights held on by blanking the previously undefeated Vikings over the final 1:55, as West Valley, the top ballclub in the South Division of the Coast Conference, was seeking its second consecutive tournament — the Vikes earlier took the inaugural Bob Burton Classic — crown of the season.

The decision gives City a PCAC-best record of 7-2, a half-game better than Palomar (7-3), which nipped the Griffins, 103-96 in four overtimes, in the third-place contest over Grossmont. which played much better than its 2-7 mark through the first month of the season.

The four-overtime affair was the longest since the 1988-89 COA (now CCCAA) state playoffs when the G-House also dropped a quadruple-overtime marathon affair at Santa Barbara City College.

The previous triple-overtime contest came a decade ago in 2010-11, as Grossmont won a conference game at San Diego Mesa, 104-102, on Jan. 19, 2011.

The difference saw starting forward Alex Dumas (24 points) become the second starter to foul out, as Palomar took an 11-4 advantage in the final extra session.  Fellow forward Nick Mason finished as the top scorer with 26 points. Both established career highs.

The conclusion of regulation was proved to be similar in stature and score as the title game later Sunday (Dec. 5) night. Grossmont’s Chad Robinson drained a 3-point shot to make it 63-all with 1:25 remaining, then both sides blanked the other over the final 85 seconds.

Palomar’s Calvin Payne dropped a trey with three seconds left to cap the first overtime, then the Griffins’ Mickey Chew crashed the boards for a tip-in bucket with two seconds left to push the game into a third extra period.

Grossmont guard Samuel Stewart IV penetrated the lane for a driving layin to pull the Griffins even at 92-all with nine seconds left, forcing the contest into the school’s longest contest in more than three decades.

Stewart finished with career-bests of 19 points and 10 rebounds for, obviously, his first career double-double The forward also registered four steals.

Palomar’s Robinson topped all players with 33 points, Included was 17 points in the overtimes, including five in the final period to lead the Comets to an 11-4 advantage to outlast Grossmont.

The Griffins opened the tournament by downing L.A. Trade-Tech, 62-46, on Friday (Dec. 3).

Mason (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Vincent Warren both registered double-doubles. Warren had a game-high 24 points to go along with his 10 rebounds.

Cuyamaca 83, Santa Ana 78 (2-OT)

RANCHO SAN DIEGO —- Both of East County’s community college men’s basketball programs played well into the night over the weekend. While Grossmont College needed four overtimes in the finale of its own tournament, Cuyamaca College needed a pair of extra sessions to down visiting Santa Ana, 83-78, in the Coyotes’ final home game prior to the opening of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference action.

Cuyamaca (3-5 overall) won for the second time in three starts after Ray King collected a season-high 33 point, including shooting 10-for-15 from the foul lines. King now has 105 points in his last four outings.

Santa Ana, the bottom team in the Orange Empire Conference, fell to 3-6. Add the Dons’ record to Cuyamaca victories over Oxnard (3-6) and Golden West (4-5), the Coyotes defeated teams with a composite mark of just 10-17.

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