COD (0-10) whittled down an 8-point deficit at the half, building a 4-point lead halfway through the second half, sending the game into overtime, but an 8-2 run by the Rio Hondo Roadrunners (3-10) to close out the overtime doomed Desert, 92-85.
In a match-up of Roadrunners squads, the Rio Hondo team pulled out ahead early, building a 15 point lead with 11:15 left in the first half and carrying a narrow lead into the halftime break, 41-33.
Then midway through the second half, Desert got hot, lava hot, as they rattled off an 8-1 run to take a 61-57 lead with 9:23 left in the game. Freshman forward Arion Stevenson (Moreno Valley Canyon Springs) was a huge part of that run as he scored six of the team's eight points during that run.
Desert found themselves down by as many as 9-points, 76-67, with 3:36 remaining in regulation, but the home side would rally for a 10-1 run as sophomore starting guard Weijie Zhang (Carlsbad Army-Navy) hit 2 of his 3 three-point shots within the 10-1 run.
Desert had a chance to close out the game in regulation, with 11 seconds left in the game sophomore guard Philippe Salawa (Fontana A.B. Miller) had possession of the ball and had his jumper blocked by Rio Hondo, who turned around to miss a layup at the buzzer.
Salawa leapt off of the bench and grabbed his second double-double of the season, leading the team with 20 points on 6 of 22 shooting, including going 8 of 10 from the free throw line, along with grabbing 13 total rebounds. Salawa also led the team in steals with two and smashed four blocked shots on the afternoon.
Zhang added 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including going 3 of 7 from three-point range. Freshman guard Donald Nesby (Rialto H.S.) came off of the bench to contribute 13 points on 2 of 4 shooting, going 8 of 9 from the charity stripe.
Freshman starting guard Andre Allen (Chino Don Lugo) collected 12 points on 4 of 14 shooting and freshman starting guard DeJon Talbert (Aurora (IL) East) put up 10 points on 2 of 8 shooting, including going a perfect 5 for 5 from the free throw line and leading the team in assists with six.
The final home game of 2017 will be December 30th at 3p against the Imperial Valley Arabs, hope to see you there.
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.