Basketball (M)

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Knights Open Season With Tourney Championship

11/5/2017

The Knights have started off the 2017-18 season with three straight victories at their own Knights Invitational to claim the tournament championship for the first time since 2014. Wonder Smith led the charge in the championship game with 23 points to help the Knights get past Fullerton, 70-63.

Robert McCoy added 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals on Sunday and was named tournament Most Valuable Player. Luis Salgado, who was selected to the all-tournament team along with Wonder and McCoy, provided 10 points with four steals off the bench. 

The Knights started the weekend off with a 97-78 win over Los Angeles Harbor in which they used a 14-0 second half run to turn a close game into a blowout. McCoy led City with 19 points and 10 rebounds in that opening night victory. 

A second half surge was also the difference in the semifinal against Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday. The Knights were ahead 71-69 with 7:22 remaining, but finished the game with a 28-12 run to win, 99-81. Four of the Knights' starters scored in double figures, but they were led by Salgado's 19 points off the bench. McCoy recorded another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. 

In the championship game on Sunday, it looked as though the Knights were going to continue their trend by using a 13-1 run to turn a 37-36 lead into a 13-point lead midway through the second half, but Fullerton fought back and got to within five with 2:08 remaining. 

The Knights, however, made 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch and kept the Hornets from getting any closer. 

Sunday's win was the Knights' second straight over Fullerton and 20th consecutive overall. City won its final 17 games last season, including the state championship, which ended in a buzzer-beating victory over the Hornets last March.

Next on the schedule for the Knights is the tournament at Fullerton College next weekend. They will open that tournament with a game against Bakersfield on Thursday, November 9 at 5 p.m.

Box Score vs. L.A. Harbor
Box Score vs. Mt. San Jacinto
Box Score vs. Fullerton

2017 Knights Invitational All-Tournament Team
Armstrong Ojunkwu (San Diego Mesa)
Jeremy Smith (Citrus)
Jason Richardson (Fullerton)
Khalil Stevenson (Fullerton)
Luis Salgado (SDCC)
Wonder Smith (SDCC)
Robert McCoy (SDCC) - MVP