COD (0-15) played a strong first half of basketball, but losing "The Battle of the Boards" and "The Battle in the Paint," as well as a late push by the Grossmont Griffins (2-12) proved to be the difference, as the Roadrunners fell, 80-63.
Grossmont would open the game on a 10-2 run, but the Roadrunners defense would keep the game close as neither team could score for over two minutes midway through the quarter. Desert would close the gap to six points, as 3 of their 5 made baskets in the quarter were 3-point bucket, but the Griffins would hold a 19-13 lead after one quarter of play.
Desert would open the second quarter with an immediate shot from three-point range by sophomore starting guard Vanessa Madera (Thermal Coachella Valley) to get to within three, 19-16. Midway through the second quarter, Madera hit back-to-back three-pointers to get the Roadrunners to within one-point, 28-27 with 5:32 left and then sophomore guard Alissa Munayco (Indio Shadow Hills) nailed a shot from downtown to give Desert the lead with 3:59 left in the first half, their first lead of the game. But a made layup by the Griffins and an ill-advised foul, led to two more points from the free throw line for Grossmont, and very quickly the visitors were back in front 32-30. The Roadrunners would keep the rest of the first half close, as they went into the break only down three, 39-36.
In the second half, Desert would cut the lead to one-point 60-59, on a layup by sophomore guard Kiera Duran (Garden Grove Bolsa Grande) with 7:54 left in the game and tie the game at 61-61 on a layup by sophomore starting center Destiny Frazier (Blythe Palo Verde Valley) with 6:01 left in the game, but that would be it for the Roadrunners. Grossmont would go on a 19-2 run to close out the final six minutes of the game.
The Griffins would win "The Battle in the Paint," 34 points to the Roadrunners 12 points and Desert would fall in "The Battle of the Boards," 60 to 47.
Sophomore starting guard Zuri Outlaw (Corona H.S.) was spectacular, leading all scorers with 23 points on 8 of 17 shooting, going 5 of 8 from the free throw line and Madera added 17 points on 5 of 19 shooting, going 4 of 10 from beyond the arc and leading the team with five steals.
Freshman starting forward Kiley Pitts (Yucca Valley H.S.) had a "Block Party" as she grabbed a season high six blocks alone, while helping her team set a season team high of 11 blocks and sophomore forward Tanner Rodriguez (Newport Beach Newport Harbor) set a personal season high and led the team with 14 total boards on the night.
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Information & Story provided by COD Sports Information. Photo by Michael Leone Photography (firstname.lastname@example.org).