COD Men’s Basketball wins Consolation title at Grossmont Invite

COD Men’s Basketball wins Consolation title at Grossmont Invite

COD (5-3) opened up the Grossmont Invitational with a game against the state runner-up, San Diego City, knocked off LA Southwest and then ran into the host, Grossmont to win the Consolation Final.

On Friday, the Roadrunners faced off with the San Diego City Knights (6-5) and last season's state runner-up built an 11-0 lead before Desert freshman forward Thomas Mooney (La Quinta H.S.) hit a jumper. Eventually, the Roadrunners would get to within four points 27-23 with 7:10 left in the first half, unfortunately, that's as close as Desert would get as they fell to San Diego City, 74-62.

Freshman starting guard Sam Skipper (Perris H.S.) would lead all scorers with 23 points on 7 of 17 shooting from the field, including going 3 of 8 from beyond three-point range. Sophomore starting forward Nicholas Pete (Hemet Tahquitz) added 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting and led the team with seven total boards, tying for the lead in blocked shots with three. Freshman forward Kristopher Howard (Palm Springs H.S) leapt off of the bench to tie for the lead in assists, steals and blocked shots with three in each category.

On the Consolation side of the bracket, the Roadrunners ran into the LA Southwest Cougars (2-4) where Desert took a ten point lead at the break, 38-28 and then built their largest lead of the game, 19 points, early in the second half on a layup by sophomore starting guard Deondre Hawkins (Palm Springs H.S.).

Then the Cougars started to chip away at the lead as LA Southwest went on a 10-2 run and now the Roadrunners were in a fight to hold on. The Cougars kept getting to within one point, but the Desert defense would not relent and allow them to take any lead. Three times within the final three minutes, the Roadrunners clung to a one-point lead, and with 57 seconds left, Desert held a 72-71 lead. Neither team could score in the final 50 seconds, until Skipper put back a missed shot giving the Roadrunners a 74-71 lead and then the win.

Skipper would again lead all scorers with 26 points, on 10 of 23 shooting and going an impressive 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, leading the team in assists (5) and steals (6). Pete would lead the game with 13 total boards and Howard would lead the team in blocked shots with three. Freshman guard Damonza Byrd (Sugarland (TX) Kempner) made his way off of the bench and dominated, adding a huge 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting and going 3 of 7 from three-point range in the win.

In the Consolation Championship, Desert would face-off with the host Grossmont Griffins (0-10), a team they had already faced in the first game of the 2018-19 season and defeated them by eight, 58-50, but at 0-9 going into the game, was very hungry for a win. The Roadrunners would shoot out to a 5-0 lead to start, then the Griffins would get back into the game on a couple of buckets to make the score 5-4. Desert would go on a 7-0 run and live on that point cushion for most of the first half, then Grossmont went on a 10-0 run and took a 21-20 lead and it was now a game. Just before halftime, Skipper nailed two huge three-point shots to give the Roadrunners a two point lead at the break, 26-24.

With 2:30 left in the game, Desert held a 61-51 lead, and the win would be decided at the free throw line as five of the final eight visits on either end of the court would be decided at the line. The Roadrunners were a perfect 10 for 10 from the charity stripe in the final minutes, taking the game, 71-57.

Desert had three starters in double figures as Skipper, once again, led all scorers with 18 points on 5 of 15 shooting and going 3 of 8 from beyond three-point range, along with tying for the team lead in total rebounds with eight. Sophomore starting guard Gunnar Mogolis (Palm Desert H.S.) would add 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting and going 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, along with tying for the team lead in steals with three.

Sophomore starting guard Riley Welch (Littleton (CO) Chatfield contributed 11 points on 2 of 12 shooting and was perfect at the line, going 6 for 6 and leading the team in assists, with seven and tied for the team lead in steals with three. Bryd had another impressive game off of the bench, as he contributed 14 points and was perfect from downtown, hitting 4 of 4 three-point shots in the win.

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Information & Story provided by COD Sports Information. Photo by Michael Leone Photography (