Jaguars beat Knights for Palomar title

Jaguars beat Knights for Palomar title
By Nick Pellegrino
Special to East County Sports
SAN MARCOS (11-26-2018) – In a battle for not only for supremacy in San Diego County but also to determine the preseason favorite in the North Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, there may be a new kingpin after Southwestern slipped past San Diego City, 84-78 in overtime, for Sunday's (Nov. 25) championship of the 14th annual Palomar Tournament.

The see-saw affair saw San Diego City get even at 78-all on a Victor Irhirhi layin with 2:53 remaining.

However, the Jaguars closed the contest on a 6-0 run to win it, scored inside with 1:17 left to break the deadlock. D.J. Wilson added a pair of foul shots, then Serrano beat the Knights' press with a breakaway dunk in the final moments to cap the tournament crown and knock out the two-time defending champions of the event at the Palomar Dome.

The Knights trailed by a point late in the first half, then closed the final 2:52 with a 12-4 run and went into the locker room with a 40-33 halftime lead.  That momentum carried over to the opening moments of the second half as the Knights grabbed their largest lead of the game, 49-37, on a 3-pointer from Nashom Carter with 18:01 remaining.

However, Southwestern answered with runs of 14-3 and 14-2 to brad a 10-point lead, only to watch the Knights counter with an array of 3-point goals on a 15-5 run to pull even at 70-all.

For the Jaguars (7-2), Jose Serrano tallied 17 of his game-best 25 points after the intermission.  Serrano also posted 10 rebounds.

Wilson added 14 points, Marquavian Stephens had 11, while 10 boards and blocked six shots.

Wilson was named tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Jordan Cook.

For City, sophomores Joseph Riley and Khor Tut led the Knights with 12 points each. Khor added 6 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team along with freshman Nashom Carter who added 11 points and 3 assists.

The loss was City's first to Southwestern since Feb. 27, 2015, a streak of six games.

The Knights will now turn their attention to the Grossmont tournament, which begins on Friday, Nov. 30. City will open that tournament against College of the Desert on Friday at 7 p.m. The host Griffins kickoff the event with a 3 p.m. start.

San Diego Miramar 77, Palomar 61: In the third-place game under the Palomar Dome, the Comets (3-4) fell under .500 after getting swamped by the Jets 6-2).

Carsten DenHerder collected 10 of his team-leading 17 points in the first half, a resounding 36-20 halftime lead, after taking charge early at 11-4 and 28-12.

The lead remained in double figures in the second half, as Artis Chapman added 14 points for the Jets, while Kobe Gatti added 10 from off the bench. On defense, Ryan Hagood posted 11 rebounds.

For Palomar, forward Michael Chatman posted a season-high 24 points, but the majority came in the second half. He had 10 boards, with nine coming in the first half, but the remainder of the Comets starters mustered just nine points in the first half.