COD (0-8) tied the game at 66 with under two minutes left and had an opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, falling just short on a long three-point attempt as time expired, the Roadrunners narrowly fell to the Grossmont Griffins (9-3), 72-69.
Grossmont opened the game on a 7-0 run and then midway through the first half Desert closed the gap with a 12-1 run to take a 20-18 lead at the 10 minute mark of the first half. The game would continue in a back-and-forth struggle, as the Roadrunners started to pull away, taking their largest lead of the game with 5:50 left in the first half, with a score of 34-25. The Griffins closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to take a four point lead at the break, 41-37. Roadrunners freshman guard DeJon Talbert (Aurora (IL) East) had 10 of his 18 points in the first half.
Unfortunately, Grossmont would open up the second half on a 13-2 run to take a 54-39 lead with 13:07 left in the game. Desert would once again collect a double digit run to start to close the gap, rolling on to an 11-0 run, getting to within five-point, 60-55 with 6:31 left in the game. The Roadrunners would tie the game at 66, with 1:54 left in the game on a huge three-point shot by starting sophomore guard Philippe Salawa (Fontana A.B. Miller). Desert would not get any closer, although Salawa had a chance to hit a three-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer, but an off balanced shot from in-between half court and the three-point line bounced wide off of the rim.
Desert received some great performances from Talbert, Salawa and starting sophomore guard Weijie Zhang (Carlsbad Army-Navy). All three were in double figures as Talbert came off the bench to lead the team with 18 points going 7 for 10 with 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, contributing to the three-point percentage that bested the Griffins 25.8% to 22.2%.
Salawa added 11 points on 5 of 14 shooting 1 of 3 from three-point range. He led the team in rebounds with 6, a board, two steals and two assists. Zhang had two rebounds, two steals and four assists contributing 10 points going 4 of 11 with a shot from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Andre Allen (Chino Don Lugo) tied for the lead with Salawa in rebounds (6) and led the team with five assists and three steals. He added eight points going 3 of 13 with a three-point shot.
Article by Ashtyn Lyneis (COD Sports Information)
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.