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2014-15 Schedule/Results | 2014-15 Roster | 2014-15 Stats | 2014-15 Coaches

2013-14 Season | 2013-14 Schedule/Results | 2013-14 Roster | 2012-13 Season | 2012-13 Schedule/Results | 2012-13 Roster / Bios 2012-13 Stats | 2011-12 Stats |  2010-11 Stats  | 2009-10 Stats | 2007-08 Stats | 2008-09 Stats

View, Download Images of Photos by Hugh Cox

The 2014-15 Palomar Comets


Photo by Hugh Cox

2014-15 Season

State No. 10 Jags top No. 15 Comets 65-61

CHULA VISTA (1-30-2015) -- In its second road game in three nights against the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's two best Southern Division teams, state No. 15-ranked Palomar lost 65-61 to No. 10 Southwestern in a cross-division game on Friday night.

The Comets' Ryan Schaefer had a big performance in defeat against the Jaguars with 21 points, including six 3-pointers.

Knights snap state No. 15 PC's win streak at 5

SAN DIEGO (1-28-2015) -- San Diego City College, the second-place team in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's Southern Division, snapped Northern Division leader Palomar's men's win streak at five games on Wednesday night.

The Knights defeated the state No. 15-ranked Comets 61-56, making a 6-point halftime lead stand up.

Deven Riley (left, 15 points, 6 rebounds), Jeremy Franklin (14 points, 8 rebounds), Matt Duniphan (right, 13 points, 5 rebounds) and James Sampson (5 assists) led Palomar in a losing effort.

Chris Burton led the Knights with 15 points. Christian Jones had 12 points and 6 assists. Caleb Singleton contributed 9 rebounds.

Palomar will play at state No. 10-ranked Southwestern, the Southern Division first-place team, on Friday at 5 p.m. The Jaguars handed MiraCosta its third straight loss on Wednesday night 78-61.

Conference honors Franklin as Men's AOTW

SAN DIEGO (1-26-2015) -- Palomar basketball players Jeremy Franklin (left, photo by Hugh Cox) has been selected as Men's Athlete of the Week by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Franklin, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Escondido High School, scored 48 points and grabbed 29 rebounds as the Comets, which leads the PCAC's Northern Division, won twice last week.

Franklin (29 points, 10 rebounds, 9-for-12 shooting from the field, 6-for-8 three-point shooting, 5-for-6 on free throws) led the Comets to a 67-58, come-from-behind win over MiraCosta last Wednesday in the teams' showdown for the Northern Division lead.

He came back on Friday with 19 points, 19 rebounds, 8-of-8 free throw shooting down the stretch and 5 assists as the Comets turned back Cuyamaca 58-50 in a PCAC cross-division game.

Franklin shared the men's AOTW honor with Shawn Lathan from Southwestern's Southern Division basketball leader.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Ryan Schaefer drives past Cuyamaca's Omari Watkins during Palomar's victory over the Coyotes on Friday night at The Dome. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Jeremy Franklin drops in a 3-pointer over Aaron Heusleint. BELOW: Matt Duniphan scores from above the rim. No. 3 on the right is Ryan Schaefer. -- Photos by Philip Farry

Franklin unloads on foe with 19 pts, 19 RB

SAN MARCOS (1-23-2015) -- Jeremy Franklin completed a 48-point, 29-rebound week on Friday night as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division men's basketball leader Palomar won for the second time in three days, defeating Cuyamaca 58-50 at The Dome.

This time, Franklin finished with yet another double-double (19 points and 19 rebounds) as the Comets, unable to shake their cross division opponent from the PCAC's Southern Division for much of the night, outlasted the visitors in a cross-division game.

He also passed off for five assists.

The coaches from defending NAIA national champion Vanguard, which is one of the schools heavily recruiting the 6-foot-6 sophomore out of Escondido High School, watched Franklin grab 18 of his 19 rebounds on the defensive board and finish off the Coyotes by calmly dropping in 8 free throws down the stretch.

"Our guys did a real good job defensively on No. 30 (Tim Pace)," PC coach John O'Neill said. And the Comets needed to on a night they appeared to come out flat in what ammounted to a trap game after an emotional 67-58 win over California State Route 78 opponent in a battle for the PCAC North lead.

Matt Duniphan and Chris Sorapuru each scored 9 points and added 5 rebounds for Palomar (11-8 on the season), which muscled out its fifth straight victory going into two cross-division road games next week against the top two teams in the PCAC's Southern Division, San Diego City College on Wednesday and Southwestern on Friday.

San Diego, the South's second-place team, defeated MiraCosta 60-52 on Friday night. Southwestern, the Southern Division leader, turned back Grossmont 66-60.

For Cuyamaca, Tyrone Hueitt had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Pace settled for 10 points.

ABOVE:  Deven Riley, one of the heros of Palomar's come-from-behind win over MiraCosta on Wednesday night in the teams' battle for first place, challenges the Spartans Travon Tucker with the ball. BELOW: Jeremy Franklin, who dominated the game, swishes one of his six 3-pointers over the Spartans' Buddah Boyd to put the Comets on top 37-32 with 17:28 to play in the game. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Franklin (29 pts, 10 RB), Comets take over 1st

SAN MARCOS (1-21-2015) -- Jeremy Franklin was victorious in his head-to-head match-up from MiraCosta's highly-touted Buddah Boyd and Palomar won its showdown with the Spartans for the undisputed Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North lead halfway at the midway point in the schedule on Friday night.

The Comets, down 11-2 to begin the game and trailing into the second half, rallied to win 67-58 at The Dome as Franklin scored 29 points and hauled down 10 rebounds. Franklin buried 9-of-12 shots, including a 6-for-8 performance from behind the 3-point arc, and was 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

Ryan Schaefer added 13 points for Palomar (10-8, 4-0), including 3 three-pointers. For the game, the Comets shot .545 from behind the 3-point arc.

And the Comets played another superb defensive game, holding Boyd, who is among the state's scoring leaders, to 14 points.

Palomar tired out 6-foot-11 MiraCosta center Fareed Ahmed, who led all rebounders with 12, became frustrated as he tired in the second half with the Comets surrounding him, denying him the ball and battling him for the ball.

"Chris (Sorapuru) and Deven (Riley) did a fantastic job shutting down Boyd," Palomar coach John O'Neill said. Riley contributed the defensive play of the game when he sailed through the air to reject Boyd's long-range attempt with 7:44 remaining in the game.

Riley also had 9 rebounds to go along with 7 points. Matt Duniphan played one of his best games, disrupting MiraCosta's inside game and adding 5 rebounds.

Palomar, down by 10-plus points most of the first half, closed the gap to 32-29 at intermission on back-to-back 3-pointers by Franklin and Jared Kane off the bench. Franklin never came out of the game.

The Comets pulled even for the first time at 32-32 on James Sampson's 3-pointer barely a minute in, then took their first lead with 18:06 to play 34-32 on Matt Duniphan's basket inside. MiraCosta would briefly regain the lead, but Palomar buried the visitors down the stretch.

Late rebounds by Duniphan, Riley and Sorapuru down the stretch sealed the deal.

The Spartans fell to 11-7 on the season and slipped into second place in the division at the halfway mark at 3-1.

 Palomar will host Cuyamaca on Friday at 6 p.m. in its first in a series of match-ups against Southern Division teams that count as non-conference games.

ABOVE: James Sampson lays the ball up for the last two points of the first half Friday night with six seconds remaining. Jeremy Franklin (No. 23 at the left) and Matt Duniphan (far right) are the other two Comets in the picture. Palomar led by as many as 27 points before beating Grossmont 58-44. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Carston Nyenhuis, who scored 10 points

Comets win, set up showdown with MiraCosta

SAN MARCOS (1-16-2015) -- Palomar pretty much had its way with defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division co-champion Grossmont on Friday night at The Dome, opening a 50-23 lead with just under six minutes to play and continuing on to a 58-44 win.

With the victory, the Comets (9-8, 3-0) set up a first-place showdown at the midway point of the PCAC North season with MiraCosta (11-6, 3-0), whose team had a bye Wednesday and watched from the stands as coach John O'Neill's Palomar squad demolished the Griffins. The Comets will host the Spartans next Wednesday at 7 p.m., after the first-place Palomar women play Grossmont at 5 p.m.

Jeremy Franklin (12 points) and Carston Nyenhuis (10 points on 5-of-6 inside shooting) scored in double figures for Palomar, while Chris Sorapuru added 9 points. Matt Duniphan (8 rebounds) and Franklin (7) led the way as the Comets dominated the boards. Sorapuru also contributed 2 blocks. Franklin and Deven Riley had dunks. Franklin passed off for 5 assists, Sampson for 4.

Grossmont's Robert Romero led all scorers with 16 points.

Palomar played an outstanding defensive game and only turnovers and cold shooting late in the game, along with Grossmont's huge edge in free throws, allowed the G-House to get as close as it did at the end. The Griffins, who had 26 attempts, outscored the Comets from the line 16-1. Palomar only got to the line for 4 attempts.

After Wednesday's MiraCosta game, the Comets will begin a four-game stretch against Southern Division teams, beginning next Friday vs. Cuyamaca at home, before resuming PCAC North play.

PCAC honors Schaefer as Athlete of the Week

SAN DIEGO (1-12-2015) -- Palomar basketball player Ryan Schaefer (left) has been selected as Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for the week that ended Sunday.

Schaefer, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard from Temecula Valley High School, helped lead the Comets to back-to-back victories over San Diego Miramar and state No. 7-ranked Mt. San Jacinto in their first two PCAC games.

Schaefer had 16 points,  rebounds and 3 steals in a 72-66 overtime win over Miramar. Two nights later, his 23 points, incluidng a 5-for-5 night from behind the 3-point arc, helped lead the Comets to their big road upset of Mt. San Jacinto.

Comets rally, stun state No. 7 Mt. San Jacinto

SAN JACINTO (1-09-2015) --
Palomar roared back from a 15-point deficit with 12 minutes to play Friday night as the Comets defeated Mt. San Jacinto for the first time since 2005, upsetting the state No. 7-ranked Eagles 88-86.

The Comets (2-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's Northern Division) had to overcome 45 points 5 thundering dunks and 4 three-pointers by Mt. San Jac's 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Samuel Williams. And huge performances by Ryan Schaefer (23 points, 5-for-5 on pointers) and James Sampson (21 points, 10-for-12 free throws) enabled them to do exactly that.

Trailing by 51-44 at the half, the Comets fell further behind after intermission and never led until Jeremy Franklin canned back-to-back 3-pointers to put them ahead 83-81 with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in the game.

Franklin's 9 points were third high for Palomar (8-8 overall) and he also had 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Chris Sorapuru contributed 8 points and a key rebound in the closing seconds. Deven Riley, coming off an injury, also had 8 points. The Eagles, whose only previous home loss was to currently state co-No. 1 Saddleback by 3 points back on Nov. 16, brought a 12-4 record into the game.

TOP PHOTO: Cameron Jackson scores to give Palomar a 36-34 lead with 15:02 left in  Wednesday's overtime win at San Diego Miramar. DIRECTLY ABOVE: James Sampson takes the ball to the bucket late in the second half. He was fouled by the Jets' Drew Peterson (No. 5 in white) and made one of two free throws. The Comets' Reid Bohanan (42) is at the top of the key. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Ryan Schaefer. BELOW RIGHT: Chris Sorapuru

Palomar wins conference opener in overtime

SAN DIEGO (1-07-2015) --
Ryan Schaefer scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and in overtime Wednesday night, and Chris Sorapuru contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds as Palomar defeated San Diego Miramar 72-66 to open Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North play.

The Comets took control in the final 1 minutes, 55 seconds of the 5-minute OT.

Carston Nyenhuis hit his second basket of the night to break a 63-63 tie and the Comets followed that with a layin by Schaefer, who somehow scored even though he was hammered at the basket, and five free throws by his teammates.

Palomar had two huge defensive  rebounds down the stretch, by Sorapuru with 17 seconds left in the overtime and by K.J. Houston with 6 seconds showing on the clock. Houston was fouled coming down with the ball and dropped in two free throws with 5 seconds remaining to give the Comets their 6-point victory margin.

Miramar led at the half 28-27 as Palomar kept going to the free throw line and missing, making only 5-of-13 attempts. Jared Kane canned two jumpers coming off the bench, the first one a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner, to help keep the Comets within range of the Jets.

After Palomar's miserable first-half free throw shooting performance, Schaefer and Sampson were a combined 12-of-14 from the line the rest of the way. Schaeffer went 7-for-8 and James Sampson was 5-for-6, with his last two coming in the OT. He finished with 13 points.

Schaefer also had 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

The Comets play their second PCAC Northern Division game on Friday at 7 p.m. at division favorite Mt. San Jacinto.

Moorpark overcomes 24 points by Franklin

GLENDALE (12-20-2014) --
Jeremy Franklin scored 24 points but his performance went for naught for the Palomar men's basketball team Saturday afternoon in the consolation championship game of the 28th Annual Vaquero Classic at Glendale College's Verdugo Gym.

Moorpark College turned back the Comets 73-64.

The Raiders won the game at the free throw line, making 31-of-45 attempts. Palomar, which outscored Moorpark 53-42 from the field, was 11-for-13 from the line.

The Comets were whistled for 29 fouls, Moorpark for 17 fouls.

James Sampson and Ryan Schaefer each tallied 9 points for the Comets. Deven Riley led Palomar rebounders with 8, while Franklin and Sampson each had 5. Sampson added 5 rebounds from his guard position and also had 6 assists. Franklin passed off for 5 assists.

The Comets (6-6) will be off until next Sunday, Dec. 28, when they play Cosumnes River College of Sacramento in the first round of the 48th Chabot Classic at Chabot College in Hayward.

The Comets and Hawks will tip off at 3 p.m.

Schaeffer scores 19 points as Comets win

GLENDALE (12-19-2014) --
Freshman guard Ryan Schaefer scored 19 points on Friday afternoon as he helped lead Palomar to a 60-53 victory over host Glendale at Verdugo Gym in the consolation semifinals of the 28th Vaquero Classic.

James Sampson also scored in double figures with 11 points while Carston Nyenhuis (right) and Jeremy Franklin each added eight points as the Comets (6-5) advanced to Saturday's 1 p.m. consolation championship game against Moorpark, a 68-61 winner over Orange Coast.

Deven Riley led Palomar in rebounds with six. Nyenhuis had four rebounds. Sampson also contributed four assists and three steals.

Comets waste Franklin's 27 points in 3-pt. loss

GLENDALE (12-17-2014) --
Victor Valley overcame a big performance by Palomar's Jeremy Franklin on Wednesday night to hold off the Comets 87-84 in the opening round of the 28th Vaquero Classic men's basketball tournament at Glendale College's Verdugo Gym.

 Franklin had a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also contributed three 3-pointers on three attempts and dished off five assists.

James Sampson (17 points, three assists, three 3-pointers), Ryan Schaefer (16 points, four 3's) and Deven Riley (right, 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists) also scored in double figures.

State No. 5-ranked Chaffey eliminates Palomar

SAN JACINTO (12-04-2014) --
For the second day in a row, Palomar's men's basketball team lost on Friday to a recent state chamionship game team, falling to Chaffey 84-67 in the consolation semifinals of the Hemet Valley Kiwanis Hoops and Crops Tournament at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Ryan Schaefer had a big day in defeat for the Comets (5-4), who trailed by only two points at halftime 50-48.

Schaefer drained 5-of-10 3-point tries in scoring 18 points, high for Palomar against the state No. 5-ranked Panthers. Deven Riley (right) tallied 12 points. Chris Sorapuru scored 8 points to go along with a team-high 5 rebounds, and Carston Nyenhuis also had 8 points. Chaffey out-rebounded Palomar 43-32

James Sampson led in assists with 6.

Chaffey played in the state championship game in 2013 and advanced to the Final Four again last season. Yuba, the team that defeated Palomar in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, played in the state championship game in 2012.

State power Yuba rallies to down Comets 71-68

SAN JACINTO (12-04-2014) --
Palomar's shooting turned cold in the second half on Thursday as state power Yuba College of Marysville came back from a 14-point deficit to down the Comets 71-68 in the first round of the Hemet Valley Kiwanis Hoops and Crops Tournament at Mt. San Jacinto College.

The Comets shot 40 percent in the first half to lead the 49ers 37-27 at the break and were up by 14 points with 17 minutes left in the game.

But Palomar's 22-percent second-half shooting performance did the Comets in against an opponent that has gone 248-90 in making the state playoffs for 14 consecutive seasons.

The 49ers advanced to the CCCAA state championship game in 2011-12. Yuba was only 1-3 going into Thursday's game but two of its losses were to two of the three most recent state champions, 2012 state champ Fresno City College and last year's state champ Santa Rosa.

For Palomar, which entered the game with a 5-2 record, Jeremy Franklin (18 points), Chris Sorapuru (16), Ryan Schaefer (14) and James Sampson (10) scored in double figures.

Sorapuru led the Comets in rebounds with 7, followed by Franklin (6) and Sampson, Deven Riley and Carston Nyenhuis with 5 each. Sampson also had 7 assists.

TOP PHOTO: Jeremy Franklin, who narrowly missed a triple-double, scores to give Palomar a 58-41 lead over Los Angeles Harbor with 12 minutes to play in Sunday's third-place game which the Comets eventually won 76-71. Reod Bohanan is the PC player at the right. DIRECTLY ABOVE: The Comets' Chris Sorapuru, James Sampson, Matt Duniphan, Franklin and Ryan Schaefer (left to right) play defense. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW : Jared Kane, who made 4-of-5 3-pointers and scored 14 points for Palomar coming off the bench.

Bench contributes 47 points; Comets take 3rd

SAN MARCOS (11-30-2014) --
Palomar put five players in double figures and players off the bench contributed 47 points as the Comets defeated Los Angeles Trade Tech 76-71 Sunday in the third-place game of the 10th Annual Palomar College Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Comets nearly frittered away a 15-point halftime lead but Jeremy Franklin, Matt Dunipan, Chris Sorapuru and all-tournament selection James Sampson combined for seven points in the last two minutes to seal the victory.

"It was ugly," coach John O'Neill said, but Palomar overcame an 8-for-20 performance from the free throw line and 22 turnovers to hold off a late run by the Beavers to up its record to 5-2 with the two losses coming by a combined six points.

So ugly did not matter.

Jared Kane came off the bench to bury four 3-point shots and as he led the Comets with 14 points. Kane, a redshirt freshman guard from Mission Bay High School where his father is the head coach, made 5-of-6 field goals, including a 4-for-5 night from beyond the 3-point arc.

Palomar's other double-figure scorers were Cameron Jackson off the bench with 12 points, Franklin and Sorupuru with 11 points each and Carston Nyenhuis with 10 points. Franklin had a double-double as he also grabbed 10 rebounds, all on the defensive board, to lead both teams. He just missed a triple-double, dishing off 8 assists.

Kane (11 first-half points), Jackson (8), Sorapuru (7) and Nyenhuis (6) had staked the Comets to a 47-32 halftime lead. Nyenhuis and Duniphan had 5 boards each as Palomar doubled Trade Tech's rebound output 42-21. Nynhuis also contributed a huge block.

The Comets shot 53.6 percent from the field (30-for-56), which trumped their 40.0 percent evening at the line.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Matt Duniphan scores on a put-back with 4:52 left Saturday night. He was fouled and converted the free throw for an old-fashioned 3-point play that tied the game at 45-45. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Jeremy Franklin (23) tries to protect the ball from an unidentified Southwestern player. There was a foul call, but not to send Franklin to the line. Carston Nyenhuis (left) was whistled for pushing the Jaguars player before he went over Franklin's back. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Deven Riley, who had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Comets

PC drops physical battle 52-50, to play for 3rd

SAN MARCOS (11-29-2004) -- Saturday night's second championship semifinal game in the Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament was not at all pretty, earning zero style points, and it did not end well for the Comets.

But there was nothing wrong with the Comets' intensity or fight. And, even though a physical, more mature Southwestern team outlasted them 52-50, head coach John O'Neill and associate head coach John Hotaling believe what came down will only make their squad better.

"We're going to be very, very good," Hotaling told the Comets after it was all over.

Neither team had a very consistent shooting night, with tough, physical defense by both sides probably having a lot to do with it. And, until late in the game, the Comets could hardly buy a successful free throw to save their lives -- and the Jaguars weren't much better from the line.

But if one enjoys witnessing 40 minutes of physical, intense basketball and, in this case, in a game that involved two of what appear to be among the better teams in Southern California, it was a game you would have been glad you witnessed.

"They made us earn everything we got and we made them earn everything they got," O'Neill said.

Southwestern's Danny Lomax hit a jump shot with 2 seconds remaining to break a 50-50 tie and, after a Palomar timeout, the Jaguars knocked down the Comets' in-bounds pass as time ran out.

The two-point victory puts Southwestern into the championship game of the eight-team tournament on Sunday at 5 p.m. against Saddleback, which demolished Los Angeles Trade Tech 95-63 in the other semifinal game.

Palomar plays Trade Tech for third in the tournament at 3 p.m., following the first game of the day matching St. Katherine and Los Angeles Harbor in the consolation finals at 1 p.m.

The Comets' Jeremy Franklin led both teams in scoring with 14 hard-earned points. Deven Riley had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, the latter of which was high for both teams.

Palomar's Matt Duniphan, contributing another extremely physical performance, took over the game down the stretch, after the Comets had converted the grand total of one free throw in the first 32 minutes and very much needed a boost.

Duniphan scored 8 of the Comets' final 14 points over the final 8 minutes, He made 4 of 5 free throws during that time period. And his old-fashioned 3-point play when he scored on a put-back, was fouled and converted the ensuing free throw, tied the game at 45 with 4:52 to play.

Duniphan also muscled away 8 rebounds, which was second high for the night for both teams.

The Comets blocked 5 Southwestern shots, with Carston Nyenhuis providing two of the blocks. Riley, Duniphan and Franklin had the other blocks.

Lomax led the Jaguars (6-2) with 11 points. Palomar is 4-2 on the season.

Ryan Schaefer drives against St. Katherine Friday in the feature game of the first day of the Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Jeremy Franklin, who led Palomar with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Comets rock St. Katherine, play Jags in semis

SAN MARCOS (11-28-2014) --
Palomar took its play to a new level on Friday night, facing a four-year college opponent and smashing St. Katherine 85-58 at The Dome in the opening round of the 10th Annual Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Comets (4-1) will play Southwestern (5-2), an 84-67 winner over Los Angeles Southwest, in the semifinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. In the other semifinal game, Saddleback will face Los Angeles Trade Tech at 5 p.m.

Palomar shot 60 percent from both the field (28-for-47) and beyond the 3-point arc (9-for-15), unleashed its transition game on the Firebirds, played punishing defense, hammered the visitors on the boards 40 rebounds to 18 and got 20 of their 28 field goals off assists.

Coach John O'Neill used 13 players and 12 of them scored led by Jeremy Franklin (16 points), Matt Duniphan (12 points) and Ryan Schaefer (12) points in double figures. Schaefer buried three 3-pointers, all in the second half, K.J. Houston and Franklin each had two 3's, with James Sampson and Jared Kane contributing one each.

Franklin (9 rebounds), Dunkiphan (7) and Carston Nyenhuis and Sampson (4 each) led the Comets on the boards. Reid Bohanan, seeing his first action of the season coming off an injury, had 3 rebounds facing St. Katherine's 6-foot-10 Roethler who had a 4-inch height advantage and like multiple  teammates faced San Diego State and Utah last season and Weber State, UC Riverside, BYU Hawaii and Chaminade earlier this season. Sampson dished off 6 assists and had 3 steals. Kane contributed 3 assists off the bench.

Palomar led at the half 38-25, then blitzed St. Katherine 13-4 to begin the second half and open a 51-29 lead. The Comets kept the the pressure on the Firebirds amped up wire-to-wire the entire evening until holding the ball as the clock ticked down in the closing seconds.

View, Download Hugh Cox's Photos From This Event

ABOVE: Palomar's Ryan Schaefer (No. 3) was fouled by Orange Coast's Michael Niezner on this play. He made both free throws to put the Comets up 43-29 with 15:23 left in the game. BELOW: After the Pirates got to within six points, Matt Duniphan (21) puts Palomar in front by 10 with 5:14 remaining as the Comets went on to win by 17 points. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets power past Pirates by 17 in home debut

SAN MARCOS (11-19-2014) -- Palomar rocked non-conference opponent Orange Coast 69-52 in its home opener on Thursday night at The Dome, showing signs along the way of what coach John O'Neill feels could wind up being a very good men's basketball team.

The Comets (3-1) sprinted out to a 37-21 halftime lead behind the floor play of freshman guard Ryan Schaefer out of Temecula Valley High School. They let Orange Coast close to six points to get back in the game, then dropped the hammer on the Pirates down the stretch as Matt Duniphan, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound freshman forward from Escondido High School dominated the visitors physically inside.

Duniphan, coming off the bench, grabbed eight of his game-high 10 rebounds down the stretch and scored all eight of his points in the second half by making 4-of-5 of his attempts from the field and was a physical force near the basket the entire time.

Palomar put four players in double figures -- James Sampson with 13 points thanks to a 6-for-6 night from the free throw line, Schaefer with 12, Deven Riley with 11 including a thunderous dunk and Jeremy Franklin with 10.

Schaefer went 3-for-5 from the field, 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 from the line, but his real value was defensively and controlling the basketball. Sampson dished off four assists. Riley contributed four blocks.

Brad Buchignani had 10 points for Orange Coast.

Palomar beats Pasadena for 3rd at Ventura

VENTURA (11-08-2014) --
Jeremy Franklin (left) scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made the all-tournament team on Saturday as the Palomar men's basketball team defeated Pasadena City College 73-68 for third place in the We Play Hard Tournament at Ventura College.

James Sampson had 13 points and nine assists for the Comets.

The host Pirates overcame a Palomar lead to down the Comets 66-61 in the championship semifinals on Friday night, after coach John O'Neill's squad won by 15 points over Santa Barbara City College on Thursday.

Sampson added 13 points and six assists in the Ventura game. Deven Riley contributed 12 points.

PC rolls in opener; double-double for Franklin

VENTURA (11-06-2014) -- Led by a double-double by returning All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division first-team all-conference selection Jeremy Franklin (left), Palomar tipped off its men's basketball season Thursday with a dominating victory.

The Comets defeated Santa Barbara City College 75-60 behind Franklin's 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first round of the eight-team We Play Hard Tournament at Ventura College's Athletic Event Center.

James Sampson (right), another returnee who was making his first start at point guard, contributed 16 points and seven assists in the win. Redshirt freshman Chris Sorapuru had 11 points and seven rebounds.

The victory puts Palomar into the championship semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m. against tournament favorite Ventura, the tournament host. The Pirates won Thursday's late game from Los Angeles Valley 86-76.

Palomar product Chris Gorman (No. 3) celebrates after he led Vanguard University to a 70-65 win over Emmanual College of Franklin Springs, Georgia in last season's NAIA national championship game in Kansas City. -- Courtesy photo

PC alum Gorman back at NAIA champ Vanguard

SAN MARCOS  (10-24-2014) -- Former Palomar standout  Chris Gorman, the star of the Lions' 70-65 victory over Emmanuel College of Franklin Springs, Georgia in last season's NAIA national championship game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, returns as a senior for the Lions.

Gorman had 18 points and five rebounds in the national championship game and was selected to the all-tournament team.

Gorman averaged 15.6 points last season as Vanguard's second-leading scorer, 3.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists as the Lions went 32-6.

EX-COMETS PLAYING AT 4-YEAR LEVEL, 2014-15
Player Previous Teams 4-YEAR TEAM
Joe Vaz Rancho Buena Vista HS, Palomar College of Idaho
Calvin Smith Glendora HS, Palomar Sonoma State University
Chris Gorman El Camino HS, Palomar Vanguard University
Aaron Roedl Great Oak HS, Palomar Point Loma Nazarene University

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