COD (9-9) got back to even on the season wrapping up non-Conference play, as they hosted a match-up that would make a Warner Bros. animator happy, when the Roadrunners hosted the Coyotes of Cuyamaca (3-15) and much like the cartoon, the Roadrunner would get the best of the Coyote, as Desert took the game 86-53.
The Roadrunners opened on a 7-0 run and never looked back, Desert would take a 16-point lead at the halftime break, 42-26 and then eventually leading by as much as 41-points with 3:01 left in the game.
Two players off of the bench made significant contributions as they scored in double figures, with freshman forward Robert Ayala (Thermal Desert Mirage) collecting his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 boards and sophomore guard Marquete Eddie (Washington, D.C. Friendship Collegiate Academy) led all scorers with 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting.
With 15:16 left in the game, sophomore starting forward Nicholas Pete (Hemet Tahquitz) absolutely put an exclamation point on the game with a monster alley-oop dunk off of a lob from teammate freshman starting guard Sam Skipper (Perris H.S.). The dunk rattled the gym and brought the crowd to their feet forcing the Coyotes coach to call a full time out to the song "Whoomp! (There It Is)" booming over the gym sound system.
Pete later stated, "I just got the ball and when I passed to my teammate, I was like, I have faith in you, when you throw it up, I'll take it down." Remarking later, "I was like, this is the dagger, I want to end it now, I want to end their confidence right here." Pete would lead all starters with 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting and Skipper would add 11 points on 5 of 11 shooting.
With 12:15 left in the game, the most bizarre four-point play occurred as Eddie was at the free throw line, he made his first bucket, then purposely missed the second free throw, grabbed the rebound, attempted a layup, was fouled on the attempt, made the basket and was awarded an "And One," and then made the free throw.
Talking about it after the game, Eddie commented, "It was crazy, I kind of knew it was going to happen. You know. I mean (Cuyamaca) gave up on the rebound and it was easy." Sharing later, "That second (free throw) I missed on purpose. Lackadaisical defense, those guys were busy looking around and I took the opportunity."
Sophomore starting guard Gunnar Mogolis (Palm Desert H.S.) contributed 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting on the night.
The next game for Desert is on the road in one week, when they open up Pacific Coast Athletic Conference-North Division play, traveling to the Palomar Comets of San Marcos on, January 18. The most recent time the Roadrunners defeated Palomar was in 2017, by a score of 96-94 in Palm Desert, the game starts at 5 p.m.
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For additional information, please contact the COD Sports Information Office at 760.423.6641.
Information & Story provided by COD Sports Information. Photo by Michael Leone Photography (email@example.com).