Basketball (M)

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Knights Win Palomar Tournament Championship: Wilbourn Named MVP


The SDCC men's basketball team continued its hot start to the season by winning all three games at the Palomar College Thanksgiving Tournament to claim the championship. Sophomore center Alex Wilbourn was named tournament Most Valuable Player and Wonder Smith was selected to the all-tournament team along with Wilbourn. 

Smith led the way for the Knights with 20 points and five rebounds in a narrow 73-70 win over Los Angeles Harbor on Friday afternoon. 

In their semifinal game against Saddleback on Saturday night, Smith and Wilbourn scored 12 points a piece to lead the Knights to a 67-60 win over the No. 8-ranked Gauchos. Wilbourn added eight rebounds and one block, while Smith added three rebounds and three assists.

The win put the Knights in their third tournament championship game of the season, this time against Los Angeles Southwest. City had lost the previous two title games to Fullerton on Nov. 6 (Knights Invitational) and to Citrus on Nov. 12 (Fullerton Tournament), but the third time would be the charm as City blew Sunday's game wide open in the second half on their way to a 118-78 rout of L.A. Southwest. 

The bench played a large role in the championship game with Robert Taylor going for a game-high 24 points and Robert McCoy adding 18. Starters Smith and Wilbourn scored 17 and nine, respectively. Wilbourn also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. 

The Knights are 9-3 so far this season and are ranked No. 9 in the state according to the latest poll released by the CCCMBCA.

City will now turn its attention to the Grossmont tournament beginning on Friday, December 2. The Knights will start that tournament with an 8:00 tip against Santa Monica.