SAN DIEGO (11-01-2018) / (UPDATED 11-03-2018) – Palomar's men's squad became the first California Community College team in the state in both men's or women's basketball to tip-off the 2018-19 season on Friday, opening up a 21-point lead late in the second half and continuing on to a 74-62 victory over Cuyamaca in the first round of the 7th Annual Don Gehler Memorial Tournament hosted by San Diego Miramar College.
But the Comets then lost to the host school and eventual tournament champion, Mirama,r 86-61 on Friday and had to settle for fourth in the eight-team field when they fell 68-64 to Imperial Valley in the third-place game on Saturday.
Thursday Game vs. Cuyamaca
In a game that began at noon, Jamario Harris, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard out of Great Oak High School in Temecula, led Palomar with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists as the Comets advanced to Friday's championship semifinal game against the Miramar, a 91-85 winner over Rio Hondo in the second game of the day.
Harris was joined in double figures by Anthony Routh, a 5-foot-10 freshman from Murrieta Mesa High School, who scored 17 points and added 5 assists and 3 steals, and Michael Chatman, a 6-foot-6 sophomore out of El Camino High School who contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
The other scorers for Palomar were Anthony Smith, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Vista Murrieta High with 7 points and 7 rebounds; Antonio Green, a 6-foot-0 freshman from Vista High School (7 points, 3 assists); Justin Little, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Murrieta Mesa (5 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks); and Jacob Camargo, a 6-foot-0 guard out of Oceanside High (6 points).
Palomar fell behind 14-2 to begin the game, battled back to go on top at halftime 33-29 and drew away to a 71-49 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Friday Game vs. Miramar
The Comets put two players in double figures as they never really got untracked against the Jets.
Chatman led Palomar with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Routh finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Camargo scored 9 points. Smith added 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Saturday Game vs. Imperial Valley
Harris came up big for the Comets in the loss, scoring 24 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Cmargo scored 11 points and Dru Morgan added 8 points. Routh added 5 rebounds. Green passed off for a team-high 4 assists.
The Comets will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 14, when they'll play their home opener against non-conference opponent El Camino College in The Dome at 6 p.m.