East County

Shelton's dozen not enough for Griffins

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-19-15) — In a game that saw 40 fouls and Grossmont College's bench out scoring Palomar's 13-0, the Comets ended up winning 69-57 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North battle.

On sophomore night, the Griffins started all five sophomores on the roster and took a six point lead in to the half. SHANE SHELTON lead all Griffins with 12 points with freshman KAELEN MITCHELL being the second highest with 10 points. Three other Griffins scored nine points.

"We played a team that is going up for a league title," Griffins assistant coach JOHN CLARK said. "It is always a battle between us and Palomar."

One Comet fouled out and three Griffins had four fouls. Several of those fouls were committed as the Griffins were trying to come from behind, however with Palomar hitting 82.7 percent of their free throws that strategy failed.

Friday will see the Griffins finish their season at Mt. San Jacinto.

Slow start dooms Griffins

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-12-15) — San Diego City, the 14th ranked team in the State, jumped out to a 10-6 lead five minutes into the game and went on to defeat Grossmont 83-63 on Wednesday (Feb. 11) at Grossmont College.

“We had a bad start,” coach DOUG WEBER said. “The last two games we were the aggressor, but tonight (City) was more aggressive.”

Grossmont’s KAELEN MITCHELL hit a 3-point shot in the opening seconds of the second half. Unfortunately that was as close as the Griffins would get in the second half.

Then the Knights showed that was going to be as close as they would allow Grossmont to get by going on a 15-4 run over the first five minutes of the closing half.

City was taking the physical game to the Griffins, winning the hustle points battle 44-34, and 15 points off turnovers. “I thought we matched the physical portion of the game, except on our offensive end. We let them push us around,” Weber said.

The middle 10 minutes of the second half saw the Griffins keep pace with City with each team scoring 18 points in the stretch.

Sophomore forward ALI MAJIDZADA had a game-high 23 points in 32 minutes of action. Also scoring in double figures for the Griffins was (the birthday boy) Mitchell who had 11 points.

“The saving grace is that this was a cross-over game,” said Weber. “The one we really need to get is on Friday (at Mt. San Jacinto).”

GRIFFIN NOTES . . . ROBERT ROMERO was named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week. For the week ending Feb. 8, Romero was 13-22 from the field and scored 32 points over a two game span. Romero is the first Griffin given the honor since Brooke Callahan was named the Athlete of the Week in early December for the Griffin volleyball team.

Griffins claim district bragging rights for fourth consecutive year

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-5-15) — Grossmont College got a badly needed victory over cross-town and district rival Cuyamaca College on Wednesday (Feb. 4) 59-46.

“That is a good win,” Grossmont College head coach DOUG WEBER said after the win. “It is nice to beat the rival. The one that really matters is Friday.”

Friday the Griffins will resume PCAC North play when MiraCosta comes to Grossmont at 7:00 p.m.

The Griffins outshot the Coyotes in the first half by quite a bit. GC hit on 42 percent of their shots, while CC only hit on 24 percent.

KAELEN MITCHELL was hot to start the game, hitting his first five shots. At the break, only Mitchell and ROBERT ROMERO had more than three points. But most importantly, Cuyamaca only had 13 points. “We hold a team to 13 points in the first half which was awesome,” Weber said. “A college game. College game, we hold someone to 13 points. Then in the second half we gave up 33 points. We have been in so many close games this year, it was nice to be in one that wasn’t close.”

For the game, Mitchell shot 7-of-12 from the field for a game high 16 points. The only other player in double figures was Grossmont’s ROBERT ROMERO who had 13 points.

When coach Weber looks ahead to MiraCosta, “I think they are the best team in our league. They have the best point guard and the 6’ 11” and 6’ 10” forwards down low. They are real good.”

Coach summed up the win with “good team win tonight.”

Free throws doom Griffins

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
IMPERIAL (1-31-15) — The Grossmont College men had a hard time in the desert as they lost to Imperial Valley 83-76 in an overtime Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-over game on Friday (Jan. 30).

ALI MAJIDZADA scored 22 points in the contest. KAELEN MITCHELL scored all 15 of his points in the second half. Also getting into double figures was TRENT ROWSER (13) and MARCOS MEZA (12).

The game came down to the final minutes again. With about 45 seconds remaining, the Griffins turned the ball over while leading by three. Imperial Valley came down and hit a three-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime.

In the extra session, IVC knocked down all 15 free throws they took.

“We didn’t play a full 40 minutes,” Griffins assistant coach JOHN CLARK said over the phone. “We have to go back to work to get ready for Cuyamaca.”

The Griffins will host cross-town and district rival on Wednesday (Feb. 4) at Grossmont.

Griffins battle, but fall to Mesa

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
KEARNY MESA (1-29-15) — Grossmont dropped their fourth straight in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-over game against San Diego Mesa 67-63 on Wednesday (Jan. 28).

Grossmont will look to get back on the winning ways in the desert as they play at Imperial Valley on Friday.

The Griffins still have a shot at a winning record in the cross-over games against the PCAC South. They will have to win at Imperial Valley (1-17, 1-3 PCAC South), then next week take down district and cross-town rival Cuyamaca (5-14, 1-3 PCAC South) when they start a three game home stand.

The final game against the South will come on Wednesday (Feb. 6) when the San Diego City College Knights come to Grossmont to close out the home stand.

Late technical dooms Griffins upset bid

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (1-24-15) — Grossmont College was looking to upset Southwestern College who is ranked eighth in the state in the latest CCCAA rankings. But a late technical foul finished those hopes as the Jaguars won 66-60 on Friday (Jan. 23).

“It is another one possession game,” Griffin (7-12, 1-3 PCAC North) assistant coach MIKE GOLAVKO said. “It has been that way the last 10 or 11 games. We’ve been playing well enough to win, but as Coach (DOUG WEBER) says “It is not a moral victory.”

ROBERT ROMERO sustained an injury after only playing 10 minutes. While in the game he scored four points and dished one assist, but was on the bench the rest of the game and came out from halftime in street clothes. No announcement was made on what his injury was.

ALI MAJIDZADA once again was the leading Griffin scorer with 18 points against the Jaguars. Majidzada also wrangled five rebounds and grabbed two steals.

The Griffins began the game trading point for point with Southwestern (14-6, 4-0 PCAC South). With the score tied 7-7 about 4:20 into the game, the Green and Gold went on a 15-4 run over the course of five minutes to take a 22-11 lead at the 8:51 mark. Basketball is a game of runs, and Southwestern came back with a 9-0 run to bring the game close once again at 22-20 with six minutes left. At the break, Grossmont held a slim 28-26 lead.

In the second half, the game continued to be nip and tuck. Neither team took a lead larger than seven points (Southwestern at the 14:00 mark, 42-35). This lead to eight lead changes and the score was tied on 12 separate occasions.

With 16 seconds left, the Griffins were trailing 61-58 when the technical foul was called on the Griffin bench. Southwestern hit both free throws to give them a 63-58 lead. Those were the first two in the Jaguars closing 5-2 run.

One of the interesting match-ups during the course of the game was when brothers Martin (Southwestern) and MARCOS MEZA (Grossmont) were guarding each other. Martin won the brotherly battle on the stat sheet with a 9-4 edge over his sibling.

Grossmont will go out on the road next week, traveling to San Diego Mesa and Imperial Valley in the cross-over portion of their PCAC schedule.

Griffins lose a close one

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (1-22-15) — Four Mt. San Jacinto Eagles finished in double figures as the No. 18 Eagles defeated Grossmont 85-81 on Wednesday (Jan. 21).

Mt. San Jacinto made a layup with 6:39 remaining in the first half. The Griffins went on a 20-10 run over the remaining portion of the half. “Great comeback,” said Griffin assistant coach JOHN CLARK. “Our guys come to fight. We don’t give up, it doesn’t matter who is in the gym.”

ALI MAJIDZADA made a layup just 21 seconds into the second half to tie the score at 46. Two minutes later, ROBERT ROMERO, a team-high 22 points, made a layup to give the Griffins their final lead of 50-49. Over the next three minutes, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to give them a 58-50 lead with 14:27 remaining.

Grossmont pulled to within two points with 5:30 left. They got there after hitting 3-point shots on four of five consecutive trips down the floor. However, the final of those long distance shots was the final field goal of the night for the Griffins.

“We have to play 40 minutes to come out victorious,” Clark said.

Grossmont will host Southwestern at 7:00 Friday night (Jan. 23) at Grossmont College.

Griffins play Jerkyl and Hyde

© East County Sports.com
COMPTON (12-18-14) — Grossmont was looking to break out of their losing streak, but alas they could not as they dropped a game to the El Camino-Compton Center Tartars that had two drastically different halves for the Griffins. Compton scored 52 points in the opening 20 minutes and went on to win 82-64 on Wednesday (Dec. 17).

In the first half, the El Camino-Compton Center Tartars outshot the Griffins by shooting 52 percent.

The second half, it was the Griffins that shot 56 percent and outscored the hosts by 13. But, in the end, it was Compton with an 82-64 victory.

In the first half, the Tartars hit on 22 baskets including six from behind the arc.

"They simply could not miss," Griffin assistant coach JOHN CLARK said.

The loss drops the Griffins to 5-6 as they enter their final tournament in the regular season in 11 days at the San Diego Mesa Tournament.

GC’s second half saw the Green and Gold shoot 56 percent and pour in 43 points (14-25 from the field). But when you are behind by a large margin and you only outscore the opposition by 13 in the second half, you are in trouble.

Griffins lose a heartbreaker at El Camino

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
TORRANCE (12-13-14) — The Griffins had three players in double figures, the problem is that El Camino had four in the same category and ended up pulling out a 75-72 overtime victory on Friday (Dec. 12).

ALI MAJIDZADA had a game-high 19 points on 9-of 14 shooting in 36 minutes of play. "Ali played exceptionally on both ends of the floor tonight," Grossmont assistant coach JOHN CLARK said on his way back to campus.

"This is a tough loss," Clark said. Tough would be an understatement. The Griffins had an 18 point lead with 13 minutes to go in the game.

El Camino went on a mini 6-2 run over the next two and a half minutes. Grossmont went silent over a two minute plus span to allow the Warriors to close to 56-47. The Griffins bounced back to build their lead back up to 62-53 with just a smidge over five minutes to go. But El Camino went on a 12-2 run before GC hit another shot (free throws made up the two points).

SHANE SHELTON hit a jumper to regain the lead for the Griffins at 66-65. Shelton would end up missing a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have given the Green and Gold the win.

With the score tied, the teams went to overtime and the Griffins had a bad five minute stretch. "We didn’t shoot very well in overtime and had some bad shot selections in the period," Clark said.

Clark summed up the game in one sentence, "This one hurts."

Wildcats continue their perfect season in tip to buzzer championship victory

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (12-8-14) — One day after taking down the No. 19 team in the State, the Griffins lost to West Los Angeles 77-59 in the championship game of the 43rd annual Grossmont College Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 7).

Grossmont (5-4) could not stop the Wildcats (7-0) guard Brandon Hood. Hood ended the game with 27 points (third most in the tournament) as he was named to the All-Tournament team. The tournament most valuable player was Darius Middleton who had 10 points, three assists, three rebounds and a steal in an all-around good game.

ALI MAJIDZADA had a team-high 13 points en route to being named to the All-Tournament member from Grossmont.

Normally, when a team shoots above the 45 percent range (Griffins shot 46 percent) usually wins. For example, San Diego State went 20-0 last year when shooting 40 percent or more. Griffins went 7-1 in such games last year and have gone 2-1 thus far in 2014-15.

The Griffins will go out on the road for the rest of the year. This week, they will travel to El Camino on Wednesday (Dec. 12).

43rd Annual Grossmont College Invitational All-Tournament Team
Chris Burton – San Diego City
Rafael Casanova – Cuesta
Ali Majidzada – Grossmont
Brandon Hood – West LA
MVP: Darius Middleton – West LA

Consolation Championship:

Cerritos 69, Cypress 58

Third Place:
Cuesta 79, San Diego 72

Championship game:
West Los Angeles 77,
Grossmont 59

Griffins heading back to the championship game

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (12-7-14) — After the Griffins defeated Cuesta College of San Luis Obispo Saturday night (12-6-14) 70-53, Griffins assistant coach JOHN CARK said, "that is Griffin basketball at its finest!"

"We preach defense from the time they get on campus," Clark said. "That was great defense to offense tonight. If we play like that the rest of the year, we are going to have a great year."

In the second half, the Griffins defense came alive. Cuesta was outscored 40-25 by Grossmont. There was a five minute span in the second half where the only point Cuesta was able to post was on a free throw. In another six minute span, the Griffins outscored the Cougars 16-6.

In the championship game today, the Griffins will face West Los Angeles who defeated San Diego City in the other championship semi-final by a 58-50 final score.

The Griffins (5-3) had a scoring from the starters and the bench. In fact, the Griffins more than doubled up Cuesta (8-2) in bench points. The Griffins shot decently from the free throw line as well, hitting on 75 percent. Meanwhile, Cuesta did themselves no favors by only hitting one of seven attempts.

ALI MAJIDZADA had a game-high 17 points in 18 minutes off the bench. "That is a guy that started for us last year, we were just waiting for him to get started this year," said Clark. Majidzada led a trio of Griffins that had double figures in points. TRENT ROWSER put in ten points and last night’s hero ROBERT ROMERO had 16 points.

Cuesta posted three double-digit scorers with Keshawn Liggins and Reafael Eleftheriou both notching ten points and Rafael Casanova pouring in 15.

Cerritos 91, College of the Desert 90
Cypress 69, LA Southwest 58
West LA 58, San Diego City 50

Championship Day (12-7-14) schedule
Consolation Championship:
Cerritos V Cypress, Noon

3rd Place game
San Diego City V Cuesta, 2:00

Championship game
West Los Angeles V Grossmont, 4:00

Griffins win in last quarter second

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports

EL CAJON (12-6-14) — ROBERT ROMERO hit a dramatic shot at the buzzer to give the Grossmont College Griffins a 55-54 victory in the first round of the 43rd annual Grossmont College Invitational.

"Basketball is definetly a game of runs," assistant Coach JOHN CLARK said. "We went on one at the end that gave us the win."

Romero, a native of Cathedral City in the Palm Springs area, hit a fade away shot from 12 feet away with .2 seconds remaining in the game to give the Griffins (4-3) the win. Robert had a nice double-double with game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds. SHANE SHELTON had 15 points while shooting 60 percent from the floor.

Cypress (1-3), who shot for nearly 30 percent from the field for the night, had three players score 13 points (Jeremy Wright, Nolan Kelly and Jerred Cook).

The Griffins will face Cuesta in the championship semi-final at 6:00 tonight.

San Diego City 86, Desert 82
West LA 65, Cerritos 48
Cuesta 92, Los Angeles Southwest 74

Griffins Look to Win Another Championship

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (12-5-14) — Grossmont College men’s basketball team will host the 43rd Annual Grossmont College Invitational this Friday (Dec. 5) through Sunday (Dec. 7). Teams that will be coming to El Cajon include College of the Desert, Cerritos, West Los Angeles, Cypress, Cuesta and Los Angeles Southwest. Joining the six out of town teams will be San Diego City and the host Griffins.

Tournament games are scheduled for 2, 4, 6 and 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and Noon, 2:00 and the championship game at 4:00 on Sunday. On Saturday, championship semi-finals will be the final two games.

Below is a look at each of the teams coming into the tournament.

San Diego City (6-3) vs. College of the Desert (4-4), Friday at 2:00 p.m.
The Knights come into the tournament after a 3rd place finish in the Neil Edwards Classic hosted by Citrus College. Of the three losses on the season, two have been by less than five points — combined. The States’ 11th ranked team (sixth in Southern California) has losses against No. 13 Marin (7th in Northern California), No. 12 Fresno City (6th in Northern California) and unranked Victor Valley. Some of City’s quality wins include 17 Mt. San Jacinto and 20 Southwestern in back to back games and victories over Citrus and El Camino—Compton who are both receiving votes in the Southern California poll.

As a team the Knights are averaging 79.6 points per game, which is the tenth best in the State, while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. From behind the arc, they are hitting on 32.9 percent of their shots. Leading the way is Caleb Singleton who has sunk 31 of his 62 shots from the land of plenty. The Knights have gotten to the charity strip on average of 23 times per contest and are shooting in the low 70’s. On the defensive side of the court, City is allowing 69.3 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting.

For the Roadrunners of College of the Desert come into the tournament on a two game skid and have dropped four of their last five. The opening game against San Diego will be the third PCAC team they have faced this season (2-0, with wins over Cuyamaca and Grossmont).

Offensively, the ’Runners are putting up 79.5 points per game (while allowing 88.5). From the field COD is hitting at a 46.1 rate, while allowing opponents have a 48.9 success rate. Desert is pretty lethal from the land of plenty as they have made 71 three’s, compared to allowing their opponents to sink 57 such shots. Like City, the ’Runners are hitting their free throws in the low 70’s, however teams that have faced COD are shooting a paltry 67.5 percent. One bright spot for the ’Runners is that Reece Ravet is third in the State in three-point shooting connecting on 9-of-13 shots (69.2).

Cerritos (1-4) vs West Los Angeles (4-0), Friday at 4:00 p.m.
Cerritos comes to El Cajon on a skid as they have dropped four of their five games to start the season. The Falcons have lost in those games by an average of 12.5 points that is what happens when you are a team loaded with freshman (11 of the 14 active players). Part of the problem is the fact that Cerritos is off to such a poor start. Another portion can be chalked up to poor shooting. In only two of the five contests this season has the Falcons had a shooting percentage over 40 percent. Last season, Cerritos went 19-11 and 11-3 in the South Coast-South.

West Los Angles is off to a perfect start through four games. In all four games, the Wildcats have not scored outside of the 70 point range, but their opponents have not reached 70 points once. The one area that West LA is really struggling in is Free Throw shooting. In their last game, WLA shot 33.3 percent (on only six attempts). For the season it is only about 20 points higher at 52.9. But when you are allowing a State low 25 percent from three point range, you can get away with poor shooting from the line. Cerritos is the third best in the State in opponent’s field goal percentage allowing 36.1 percent from the floor.

Cypress (1-4) vs Grossmont (3-3), Friday at 6:00 p.m.
The Cypress Chargers come into Friday’s "Prime Time" game after an upset win over 14th ranked (Southern California) Rio Hondo on the road. Cypress is adjusting to life under new head coach Andrew Alhadeff. Alhadeff was hired over the summer to take the place of Chris St. Clair who only had one season as the head man. In the 42 year history of Cypress College basketball, there have been now four head coaches with the hiring of Alhadeff. It could be a tough year for the new coach as there are only two sophomores on the 13 man roster.

Jordan Fleck, a freshman forward, leads the team with 12.4 points per game and is one of only three double digit scorers on the team. Fleck also leads with 8.2 rebounds per contest with the next closest being freshman forward Austin Payne with 3.8.

The host Griffins come into their tournament on a two game winning streak after taking the consolation championship at the Knight Invitational 19 days ago. The 19 days off is the longest they will have this season.

Helix’s KAELEN MITCHELL, a second team All-East County team member, leads the Griffins with 12.5 points per game through his first six games (five coming off the bench).

SHANE SHELTON leads the team with 13 long balls, while the only other member of the Griffins with multiple three-pointers made is Mitchell with nine.

Cuesta (7-1) vs Los Angeles Southwest (3-3), Friday at 8:00 p.m.
Cuesta is known for bringing in players from all over the globe. In past years, they have had only one or two Americans. That is what happens when the head coach played in Europe for over 13-plus years and then coached for over a decade at the highest level. Now Coach Rusty Blair accepts student-athletes from all across Europe. This years club has a pair of Spaniards, a forward from Russia and another from Cypress (the country not the city in Orange County). The lone loss came to No. five Chaffey in the championship game of their own tournament. The Cougars most recent victory came over 15th ranked East Los Angles last weekend in the championship game at Citrus. Rafael Casanova is leading Cuesta with 21.5 points per game.

Los Angeles Southwest is coming off an 0-2 record in the Palomar College tournament last weekend. One of those losses came to NAIA St. Katherine located in Carlsbad. Chris Garcia is listed as the State’s leading three-point shooter, however he has only attempted seven shots and has missed once, so that could be a little misleading. Casanova for Cuesta, listed as third in the State, has hit 28-of-55.

2014-15 ROSTER
2014-15 RANKINGS
GC Annual Records

9-17, .346 (PCAC North 2-5)

a-College of the Desert Tournament
b-San Diego City Tournament
c-Grossmont Invitational Bracket
d-San Diego Mesa Tournament Bracket
*Pacific Coast Athletic Conference - North
**Pacific Coast Athletic Conference - Crossover
Date Opponent
11-6 a-at Coll. of the Desert
11-7 a-Imperial Valley
11-8 a-Glendale (Ariz.)
11-14 b-Citrus
11-15 b-Porterville
11-16 b-Oxnard
12-5 c-Cypress
12-6 c-Cuesta
12-7 c-West LA
12-12 at El Camino
L +
12-17 at El Camino-Compton
12-28 d-Santa Ana
L +++
12-29 d-Glendale
12-30 d-at San Diego Mesa
1-7 *at MiraCosta
1-16 *at Palomar
1-28 **at San Diego Mesa
1-30 **at Imperial Valley
L +
2-13 *at SD Miramar
2-20 *at Mt. San Jacinto


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