Behind a frenzied home crowd and the atmosphere of the 1st Annual Clete Adleman Classic, the MiraCosta College men's basketball team led nearly the whole way, and came out on top during day one of the tournament in a 76-63 defeat of Grossmont College on Tuesday evening.
MiraCosta finished day one of the tournament with the largest margin of victory among all teams involved at 13, and also produced a great defensive effort, holding the Griffins to the lowest point total and lowest field goal percentage (31.9%) for any team of the tournament.
With the win, the Spartans won their seventh of the last eight games and saw their record rise to 10-7 overall as they advanced to the semifinals of the championship bracket. Grossmont fell to .500 overall at 8-8, and moves into the consolation bracket.
Playing with a short-handed roster of only eight players and missing their two leading scorers the Spartans used a balanced attack as five players finished in double figures and four had seven or more rebounds. Billy Brown led MiraCosta in scoring with 18 points and nine rebounds, Brett Hollins had a double-double with 16 points and 12 boards. Kenan Brooks had 14 points on three 3-pointers, Josh Pilling chipped in with 11 points and eight boards, and Daymarcco Green was solid all around with 10 points, seven boards and seven assists.
The Spartans led by as many as eight early on as two three's by Brooks and seven points by Pilling made it 17-9. Brooks and Pilling combined for 15 of MiraCosta's first 19 points as they led 19-13, and then the trio of Pilling (9), Brooks (8) and Brown (8) accounted for 25 of their first 30 points.
The momentum continued as Brown hit a three at the halftime buzzer to make it 35-29, and then Brooks hit a three to open the second half to give the Spartans their largest lead to that point at 38-29. A few minutes later, MiraCosta went up 12 at 46-34 after a pair of Drake Powers' free throws, and the closet Grossmont would get from there was six. The largest lead of the game for MiraCosta occurred just under the five-minute mark as Hollins connected on a jumper from the elbow making it 66-51.
Next up, MiraCosta will play Antelope Valley College, who defeated Los Angeles Pierce College 79-75, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, during the second day of the Clete Adelman Classic.
The other three games during an exciting day one of the Clete Aldeman Classic were all within two scores. Miramar College defeated Moorpark College in game one by a score of 80-75; then in game two, Bakersfield College defeated San Diego City College 73-71. Antelope Valley College was victorious over Los Angeles Pierce College, 79-75, in game three, to set up their semifinal matchup with MiraCosta.
Miramar, the first-place team in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference - North Division, the same division as MiraCosta, earned their 13th victory of the season (13-4) with an impressive 26-point effort on five three-pointers by Javon Perry. Perry's effort was good for the highest scoring total by a single player during day one of the classic. Takoda Browne was one rebound away from a double-double with 15 points and nine boards for Miramar, while Moorpark (6-7) dropped below .500 and had three players with 14 points.
In a game-two matchup of two first-place teams in their respective conferences, Bakersfield (12-7), held the largest halftime lead of day one of the tournament at 13 (38-25), and held on for the win in the final possession. Up three, the Renegades choose to foul the Knights, who proceeded to hit the first free throw and grab an offensive rebound off the second, but could not connect on a chance to tie the game. San Diego, who entered the tournament with the most wins of all teams involved at 14, dropped to 14-5.
In the third game, D'Mauria Jones scored 17, Antone Warren had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Christain Solis hit four three's for Antelope Valley (10-6). LA Pierce fell to 5-9 despite 20 points on four three's by Kelton Conway, 15 points by Brandon White, and 3-for-3 shooting from long range by Skye Isles.
Day two of the classic (Wednesday, Jan. 3) will feature Miramar vs. Bakersfield at 4pm in the first semifinal, and Antelope Valley vs. MiraCosta at 6pm in the second semifinal. The day will tip-off with Moorpark vs. San Diego City at 12pm and LA Pierce vs. Grossmont at 2pm, both in the consolation bracket.