COD Men’s Basketball opens 2018 with two wins at Frank Garcia Classic

COD Men’s Basketball opens 2018 with two wins at Frank Garcia Classic

COD (2-1) opened up 2018 hosting the annual Garcia Classic, facing off with Grossmont, West LA and Victor Valley in the three day tournament.

Desert would open on Thursday night in front of a raucous packed house, welcoming in the inaugural season of first year head coach Trent Skinner and his former Roadrunners teammates and coaches from the 1996 to 1998 team.

The Grossmont Griffins of La Mesa (0-1) would be the Roadrunners first game of the tournament and Desert would lead most of the game on the back of their three-point shooting. While the Roadrunners lost the battle of the boards, 42-37, they clearly won the battel behind the line, as Desert shot 6 of 27 from beyond the arc, compared to the Griffins, who shot 7.7% from three-point range.

Sophomore guard Gunnar Mogolis (Palm Desert H.S.) led the way for the Roadrunners, scoring 18 points, on 7 of 11 shooting, including going 4 of 8 from three-point range. Sophomore guard Riley Welch (Littleton (CO) Chatfield) led the team with 10 rebounds and received a solid contribution from sophomore forward Nicholas Pete (Hemet Tahquitz), who scored 10 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Desert was able to maintain the lead for the entire second half of the game, winning 50-58.

Day two featured a match-up against a very tough West LA Wildcats (2-0) team. With the game going back-and-forth, the Roadrunners held a one-point lead with 14 seconds left, 80-79, then West LA hit a three-point shot with five seconds left. But Desert still had a shot with 1.6 remaining on the clock, unfortunately, a turnover a midcourt would be all that would happen on the inbounds pass, with the Roadrunners falling short, 82-80.

Freshman guard Sam Skipper (Perris H.S.) led all scorers with 27 points, on 10 of 17 shooting and going 4 of 9 from three-point range. Welch exposed the Wildcat defense to find his teammates for eight assists and was perfect from the free throw line, going 9-9, scoring 19 points. Pete's defense overwhelmed the Wildcats as he collected five blocks and had 11 total rebounds.

The final game of the Garcia Classic was a close contest between a pair of former Foothill Conference rivals, featuring the Victor Valley Rams of Victorville (1-2). Three Desert starters would score in double figures, as the Roadrunners won on a Mogolis layup with 2.1 remaining, giving the tournament hosts a 70-68 victory.

Skipper would lead all scorers with 15 points, on 5 of 14 shooting, including going 3 of 8 from beyond the arc, all while dishing out five assists. Welch would find his teammates throughout the game, handing out eight assists and went nearly perfect at the free-throw line making 9 of 10 while nearing a double-double by forcing his way to nine boards. Tying Welch for points was Mogolis, who scored 13 points on 6 of 11 shooting.

Next home game for College of the Desert Men's Basketball will be Wednesday, November 14th at 5 p.m., against the Moorpark Raiders. If you are unable to make the game in person, follow the action live at Hope to see you there.

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For additional information, please contact the COD Sports Information Office at 760.423.6641.

Information, Photo & Story provided by COD Sports Information.