EL CAJON (11-28-2018) / (UPDATED 12-02-2018) – Coach John O'Neill's Palomar men's basketball team came out red hot and led much of the way over state No. 8-ranked Cerritos in the semifinals of the 47th Grossmont College Tournament on Saturday.
But that appeared to create a swarm of angry birds as the Falcons (6-1) woke up midway through the second half.
Cerritos demonstrated why it's ranked eighth in California (behind No. 1 City College of San Francisco) and fifth in Southern California (behind No. 1 Fullerton) as the Falcons came roaring back to win 63-45.
Palomar will play Los Angeles Southwest on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Griffin Gym on the Grossmont College campus, followed by the tournament's third-place game vs. Moorpark at 5 p.m..
Saturday's Game: Cerritos 63, Palomar 45
The Comets stunned the Falcons coming out of the gate, jumping out to leads of 7-0 and 9-2 to begin the game.
Jacob Camargo canned a 3-point jumper off Marek Sullivan's assist to put the Comets on top, and Anthony Routh made it 5-0, scoring on a lay-up off another Sullivan assist. Camargo added another lay-up off a Sullivan assists and Palomar was on top of Cerritos 7-0.
After the Falcons scored Sullivan dropped in two free throws and it was 9-2.
Palomar led for most of the first half before Cerritos tied the game up 21-21 at intermission, but the Comets came out strong to begin the second half and opened up their biggest lead of the game, 11 points, when Sullivan assisted Green on a 3-pointer that put Palomar up 32-21 with 16 minutes remaining in the second half.
But Cerritos, helped by 24 Palomar turnovers on the night, took control of the game at that point, came back to take the lead and methodically expended its lead and won going away.
Camargo, a freshman from Oceanside High School, led the Comets with 12 points, while Sullivan (Torrey Pines High, Cal Poly SLO) contributed another big night with 9 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal to go along with 6 points.
Other main contributors for the Comets were Michael Chatman (El Camino High, 8 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals); Routh (Murrieta Mesa High, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists); and Green (8 points and 4 rebounds).