East County Sports

Hawks upset Menlo for third straight

2021-22 SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN HAWKS BASKETBALL

ECS staff report

EL CAJON – Proving its major upset victory over previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked The Master’s University was no fluke, San Diego Christian College extended its winning streak to three after taking the buzzsaw to Menlo College, 71-63, in Golden State Athletic Conference action Thursday (Jan. 20) at El Cajon Salvation Army gymnasium.

Menlo is listed among the honorable mention in the NAIA national rankings.

Following a slow start down 22-11, the Hawks quickly played catchup and the contest was close thereafter before the Hawks pulled away from the Oaks in the second half.

After the Hawks recovered to take a 35-32 lead at the intermission, Menlo moved to with a point at 41-40 with17:17 remaining, but the Hawks answered with an 8-1 run, eventually extending the margin into double figures in the final minutes.

For San Diego Christian (5-15 overall, 3-7 GSAC), three starters — Josh O’Campo-Small (15 points), Kyle Ruiz (11), and Bryson Becker (10) — each scored in double figures.

Meanwhile, Elijah Jackson was the top rebounder in a balanced team effort. Jackson also led with five assists without a turnover.

Menlo (13-6, 5-5 GSAC) saw Parker Haven top all scorers with 20 (including 7-for-8 shooting at the foul line), but the Oaks were limited to just 38 percent shooting in the second half by another strong Hawks effort on defense,

San Diego Christian College caps the homestand on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., meeting William Jessup University, which replaced The Master’s as the No. 4 squad nationally in the NAIA.

The men’s/women’s doubleheader has been moved to San Diego Mesa College, with the ladies starting at noon.

Comments from SDCC head coach Dwayne Cosby:

“Tonight, we had a gratifying win against a top-30 program. Menlo is extremely well-coached. Coach (Brendan) Rooney, his brother, and his father are basketball royalty in NorCal. He has all the components to make a run in Kansas City; bigs that are physical and skilled, and guards that can break you down off the dribble or shoot it from deep.”
“We knew that we couldn’t take everything away from Menlo, but there was one area that we wanted to try to disrupt and it proved to be effective. Offensively, our Achilles’ heel has been executing with continuity for 40 minutes.”
Hawks women

In a role reversal from the men’s game, the San Diego Christian College women’s basketball team remained close to Menlo College throughout but never did catch up in a 72-62 setback to the visiting Oaks on Thursday (Jan. 20).

Isabel Feller continued to make her mark in the GSAC by putting in 21 points to lead all scoring. The sophomore standout also pulled down 6 rebounds, had 3 steals, 1 block, and dished 3 assists.

Meanwhile, Karen Hogue, the Hawks’ all-GSAC guard who has seen limited minutes due to injury all season, is beginning to make an impact.

Hogue contributed in all aspects of the game tallying 11 points while adding 3 boards, 4 steals, and 2 assists for the Hawks (6-12 overall, 3-7 GSAC).

“I am proud of our effort tonight battling back after each run Menlo made,” said Hawks head coach Shawn Chaffin “Unfortunately, a slow first-quarter got us down early. Hoping to put 40 full minutes together Saturday. Izzy was tremendous for us, and Keren is all heart and soul. The bench was very productive as well ”

For Menlo (10-7, 5-5 GSAC), Shay Boley led with 20 points,6 assists, and 5 steals. Kiara Brown posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards.

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