GROSSMONT COLLEGE –In back-to-back games at the Grossmont College Gym, the women’s and men’s basketball teams both managed to cap their 2010-2011 seasons with hard-fought triumphs.
The Lady Griffins defeated San Diego City College in the 5:00 p.m. game 83-74. The win gave them an 11-1 Pacific Coast Conference record and a tie for first place in the conference with Southwestern College.
In the second game, the men’s team survived a comeback effort by San Diego Mesa College to win a squeaker, 75-74.
Guards Ariel Meek and Nichole Harris led a balanced team scoring attack for the Lady Griffins with 18 and 19 points respectively. Center Jacara Roberts led all teams with 12 rebounds, while forward Chelsea Maurer contributed 12 points, seven rebounds, and one big play — a key pressure steal and score that put the Griffins ahead 72-63 after City College had crept back within striking distance after trailing by double digits for much of the game.
Coach Karen Caires expressed great pride in her team after the game and their position as co-champion of the Pacific Coast Conference for the second year in a row. Whether or not the team will be invited to the postseason tournament will be decided on Monday.
The second game offered a more thrilling ending. Mesa trailed the Griffins for most of the second game, but managed to retake the lead with three minutes left. The remainder of the contest featured a half-dozen one-point lead changes until Reynard Rice charged down the court and drew a controversial foul and two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining.
In his first attempt, Rice managed to get the ball to bounce two or three times on the rim before it fell in the basket. His second throw went in with less fuss and provided the game winning margin.
Asked after the game if he had ever been in such a situation (for real), Rice said no. But he did say he felt very good taking the free throws despite missing earlier ones.
Dudley is editor-in-chief of the GC Summit