Basketball (M)

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Knights Edged by Chaffey, 80-76, in 2nd Round of Playoffs


All five starters for San Diego City scored at least 12 points, but it wasn't enough on Saturday night as the Knights' hopes for a long postseason run were dashed with an 80-76 loss at Chaffey in the second round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs.

Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Co-MVPs Martin Thomas and Caleb Singleton had 12 and 13 points, respectively. Thomas also dished out 10 assists. 

Chris Burton had his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Scott and Christian Jones each had 13 points.

Just like the 66-65 win over Chaffey at the Citrus College tournament early in the season, Saturday's game came down to the final seconds with free throws being the difference. In that one-point win back in late November, Thomas made the game-winning free throw with one second left on the clock. 

On Saturday, Chaffey's Julian Nichols made 4-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to put the game away. 

The Knights were down by eight points with 2:29 remaining, but came roaring back with a quick 8-2 run to cut Chaffey's lead to 76-74. After a made free throw by Nichols, Ivan Kulkin got the Knights to within a point on a layup with 12 seconds left. 

Nichols converted a pair of free throws to put Chaffey up by three points and then stole the ball on the Knights' next possession. After being fouled, he hit one more free throw with two seconds left to seal the win for Chaffey.

Before Saturday's loss, the Knights had been on a six-game winning streak. It was the second time this season that they had put together a streak of that length. 

SDCC finished with a 21-9 overall record and a perfect 8-0 PCAC record. It was third time (2008-09, 2011-12, 2013-14) under Head Coach Mitch Charlens that the Knights have won at least 20 games. The most wins came in 2008-09 when the Knights went 28-5 en route to the state quarterfinals.

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