Knights look ahead to Fullerton

San Diego City College men’s basketball playoff victory sets up rematch of 2017 state championship game

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Aarmon Mehdiyan

The Knights come together during a timeout against LA Southwest. Aarmon Mehdiyan/City Times

Ben Williams, Staff Writer

The San Diego City College men’s basketball team hosted the first round of the Southern California Regionals playoffs at Harry West Gym on Wednesday, Feb. 26. 

Following last year’s first-round playoff exit, the Knights were out to prove that this year was different. 

The 11th seeded Knights (24-5) defeated the 22nd seeded Los Angeles Southwest Cougars (17-11), winning comfortably with a final score of 92-73.

The Knights opened up Wednesday night’s game with an 8-0 run, which set the tone for the entirety of the game as they never led by less than seven.

The first half was defined by rebounds, offensive rebounds, the Knights outrebounded LA Southwest, 22-9, in the first half, which included 8 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points. 

The Knights went into the half up 54-33, and led by 30 at one point in the second half which, was cut to 19 points by the end of the game.

City shot 46.6% from the field and 35% from 3 compared to the Cougars 48.3% from the field and 22.2% from beyond the arc.

The Cougars lost this game by a wide margin. Their offense did have one bright spot in Lamar Harris Jr who finished the game with 32 points and 10 rebounds.

Harris came out of the game it was easy to tell that the defensive-minded Knights were too much for the Cougar offense as they forced 23 turnovers compared to the Cougars 9.

All Knight starters got into double-digit scoring and were led by Dominic Hovasse, who had 16 points 7 rebounds and 2 assists, along with Legend Stamps, who also had 16 points along with 7 rebounds. 

 “I try to stay intense and engaged, and good things usually happen,” Hovasse said, after being asked how he was able to get rolling during Wednesday’s game. 

“When we’ve played our best, it’s been the whole team contributing,” Coach Mitch Charlens said. 

City College advances to the second round of the playoffs, where they will face off against the 6th-seeded Fullerton College Hornets.

“We have quite a history with (Fullerton),” Charlens said, referring to the 2017 state championship game where the Knights hit the decisive shot with four seconds to go to win.

“They’re a really good team, a really well-disciplined team,” Charlens said. “And they’re at home, so it’s  gonna be a great game.”

The Knights come into Saturday’s game as underdogs and are hoping to pull off a nice upset and punch their ticket into the third round of the SoCal regional playoffs.

The game will be played at Fullerton College Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7 pm