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Men's Basketball

'California State Tournament 3rd Place 1958-59'

SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS 1958-59, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63


PACIFIC COAST CONFERENCE / PACIFIC COAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2012-2013


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2015-16 Schedule/Results | 2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Stats | 2014-15 Stats | Coaches

2014-15 Season | 2014-15 Schedule/Results | 2014-15 Stats | 2013-14 Season | 2013-14 Schedule/Results | 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

2015-16 Season

ABOVE: Jordan Holmes dunks the basketball just before the buzzer for the final two points of the game in Sunday's Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament championship game against state No. 2-ranked San Bernardino Valley. -- Photo by Philip Farry. BELOW: Deven Riley, who scored a game-high 27 points against the Wolverines

Comets scare state No. 2 SBVC before losing

SAN MARCOS (11-29-2015) -- Palomar played state No. 2-ranked San Bernardino Valley neck-and-neck in the championship game of the 11th Annual Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament at The Dome on Sunday night before the Wolverines pulled away down to stretch to win 88-77

Deven Riley, the leading scorer on the floor with 27 points, tied the game at 50-50 when he took the ball to the basket with 9:30 left in the game, and the Comets still trailed by only 3 points 57-54 with 7 minutes to play after a basket by Jordan Holmes.

But San Bernardino (9-0), which upset state No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Saddleback 63-60 in Friday's semifinals, began to draw away at that point with the help of key mistakes by the Comets, including a pair of costly technical fouls.

Palomar led by six points 27-21 with just over 5 minutes remaining in the first half after Riley knocked down a 3-point shot. San Bernardino came back to go on top at intermission 36-30 with a 15-3 run.

Ryan Schaefer drained three late 3-pointers and was the Comets' second-leading scorer with 11 points. Holmes scored 10 points and Trevon Lampkin added 9.

Riley had three 3-pointers and also dished off five assists before fouling out with 5 seconds left in the game. Matt Duniphan, who was named to the all-tournament team, took 3 more charges on the night.

For the Wolverines, JaCardo Hawkins (19 points), tournament MVP Brandon Jolly (16 points), Robert Lewis (15 points), and Perris Hicks (12 points) scored in double figures.

Saddleback rebounded from its Saturday upset loss to San Bernardino to rout Los Angeles Harbor 74-38 in the third-place game. In the consolation finals Southwestern beat San Diego Miramar 102-92 in a battle of two Pacific Coast Athletic Conference teams.

Palomar will play in the Santa Barbara City College Invitational in two weeks before returning home to face College of the Desert in a 5 p.m. non-conference game on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Both San Bernardino Valley and COD are joining the PCAC in 2016-17.

TOP PICTURE: Matt Duniphan (21) pulls down a missed 3-point shot by Harbor as the clock winds down. He rifled an outlet pass to Spencer Benson who who was immediately fouled and made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Jordan Holmes drives around a Seahawk defender earlier in the second half. He dished the ball to Deven Riley for a lay-up. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

PC wins 58-54, to play state No. 2 team for title

SAN MARCOS (11-28-2015) -- After Saturday night's blue-collar, get-down-and-dirty 58-54 win over Los Angeles Harbor in the semifinals, Palomar will play state No. 2-ranked San Bernardino Valley in the championship game of the 11th Annual Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament on Sunday at 5 p.m. at The Dome.

In the other semifinal game, San Bernardino battled back from an early 30-8 deficit to hang a 63-60 defeat on defending state champion Saddleback, California's No. 1-ranked team. 

Here's way it ended in the Comets' victory over Harbor in Saturday's last game:

2:18 to play: With the Seahawks on top by 2 points, Deven Riley knocked down a 3-point bucket to put Palomar in front 55-54. It turned out to be the game-winner.

1:27 left: Matt Duniphan pulled down a key defensive rebound for the Comets.

59 seconds left: Duniphan hauled in a key offensive rebound.

18 seconds left: Spencer Benson, who led the winners with 13 points and 5 assists, made the front end of a one-and-one. The Comets led 56-54.

10 seconds left: Duniphan rebounded a 3-point attempt by Harbor and passed off to Benson who was immediately fouled.

9.2 seconds left: Benson' dropped in two free throws. Palomar led by the final 58-54 score.

3.5 seconds left: Duniphan took his third charge of the night, finishing off the Seahawks.

Riley had 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Comets. Trevon Lampkin contributed 8 points, Ryan Schaefer and Jordan Holmes each added 7 points, Reid Bohanan went 3-for-3 to score 6 second-half points and Duniphan led both teams with 8 rebounds.

Harbor's Dharion Tanner led all scorers wieth 23 points.

Palomar, which advanced to 4-2 with its fourth straight win, overcame an icy 31.6 percent first-half shooting performance and an 8-for-26 night on 3-pointers.

In the first two games Sunday, San Diego Miramar and Southwestern meet for the consolation title at 1 p.m. and Saddleback plays Harbor at 3 p.m. in the third-place game.

In the consolation semifinals, Miramar downed Los Angeles Trade Tech 94-73 and Southwestern defeated Los Angeles Southwest 82-65.

Kevin Hardyway's layup (top photo) put Palomar up 37-29 and the Comets' lead grew to 40-29 late in the first half on Ryan Schaefer's 3-pointer from the corner Friday night at The Dome. Palomar led by 10 points at intermission, traded the lead back and forth in the second half and won 75-71 to reach Saturday's 5 p.m. championship semifinals of its own tournament. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets battle way into championship semis

SAN MARCOS (11-27-2015) -- Palomar shot 52.6 percent from the field, put four players in double figures and held on to beat Los Angeles Southwest 75-71 on Friday night at The Dome as the Comets advanced to the championship semifinals of the 11th Annual Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament.

Palomar will play Los Angeles Harbor, a 75-68 winner over Southwestern, in one championship semifinal game on Saturday at 7 p.m. In the other semifinal, state No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Saddleback plays state No. 2-ranked San Bernardino Valley at 5 p.m. in the most-anticipated match-up of the early season in California community college basketball.

Spencer Benson, a 6-foot-5 freshman forward from Vista Murrieta High School, led coach John O'Neill's squad with 19 points and 8 rebounds and put the Comets ahead to stay when he scored inside with 2:37 left to play to make it 72-71.

Benson added two free throws with 1:17 remaining and Ryan Schaefer made the second of two free throws with 2.9 seconds to play, putting the game out of reach.

Benson's go-ahead bucket came after a Christian Carter 3-pointer put the Cougars in front for the final time in the back-and-fourth game 71-70 with 3:31 left. It was the last time L.A. Southwest was able to score.

No. 2 San Bernardino Valley (7-0) raced past San Diego Miramar 102-89 and No. 1 Saddleback (6-0), delayed in arriving for two hours after the Gauchos' bus sat idle on Interstate 5 coming south because when an accident brought traffic to a standstill, appeared out of sorts by the experience but still defeated Los Angeles Trade Tech 62-57 to reach Saturday's early semifinal game.

L.A. Harbor earned the right to face Palomar in the 7 p.m. semifinal when the Seahawks held off Southwestern 75-68.

The Comets also got double-figure production from Ryan Schaeffer (17 points, three 3-pointers), Deven Riley (15 points, 9 rebounds) and Matt Duniphan (10 points going 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from line, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks) before fouling out with 25 seconds to play.

And they needed it all on a night the Cougars got 34 points including 7-for-9 shooting beyond the 3-point arc from Franklin Sadler and 17 points and five 3's from Carson.

Riley rocked The Dome with a thunderous dunk with with 18 minutes left that made it 51-40 and had three key points to put Palomar in front 70-68 with under 4 minutes to play. Reid Bohanan preceded that with three straight free throws.

The Comets now have won three games in a row since starting the season 0-2 in the Ventura Tournament, including an embarrasing loss to then state No. 4-ranked Antelope Valley to open the season.

In Saturday's consolation semifinals, Miramar faces L.A. Trade Tech at 1 p.m. and Southwestern plays L.A. Southwest at 3 p.m. The tournament runs through Sunday with the championship game at 5 p.m.

Duniphan (19 pts, 10 rbs) ignites upset victory

FULLERTON (11-18-2015) -- Matt Duniphan (left) scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and also hauled in 10 rebounds Wednesday as Palomar upset state No. 15-ranked Fullerton 72-65 in a non-conference game at Hornet Gym.

Duniphan, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound sophomore out of Escondido High School, took control of the game in the second half as he led the Comets (2-2) back from a 37-27 halftime deficit (12 points at one time). He was 7-for-9 from the floor for the night.

Duniphan tied the game at 62-62 when he scored on a layup off Carston Nyenhuis' assist, then put Palomar in front 64-62 with 2:10 remaining in the game when he got loose for another layin off a Spencer Benson pass.

Ryan Schaefer (right) followed with a 3-point bucket with 1:39 left and the Comets were off and running at 67-62. Deven Riley's two free throws at the 43-second mark made it 69-62 and completely took the sting out of the Hornets.

Fullerton had come into the game with a 5-1 record and with the first championship in its own tournament over the weekend for the first time since 2007. The Hornets downed Chaffey 75-63 in the championship game.

Schaefer (15 points, 3 three-pointers), Benson (13 points) and Riley (11 points, 8 rebounds) joined Duniphan in double figures for Palomar.

The Comets shot 50.0 percent in the second half (14-for-25).

Coach John O'Neill's defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division co-champions will return to action a week from Friday when they host the Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament. The Comets will open against Los Angeles Southwest at 7 o'clock the first night.

TOP PHOTO: Ryan Schaefer (3) sets for a 3-pointer that put the game out of reach with 7:05 left in Palomar's 86-76 victory on the road over Orange Coast on Wednesday night. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Deven Riley scores to put the Comets up by 13 one minute into the second half. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Schaefer (23 points), Riley (21) lead Comets

COSTA MESA (11-11-2015) -- Ryan Schaefer, coming off a leg injury, scored 23 points and Deven Riley scored 21 points on Wednesday night, leading visiting Palomar to an 86-76 men's basketball victory.

Schaefer returned to action for the Comets in last weekend's We Play Hard Tournament at Ventura, only days after being released to play following a leg injury that sidelined him since the summer. He finally returned to form on Wednesday as Palomar avenged a loss to Orange Coast in the tournament.

The Pirates led early but the Comets went in front on a 3-pointer by Spencer Banson with 18:41 left in the first half and Orange Coast never was in front again.

Palomar was up 43-28 at the half. Coast methodically came back and closed the gap to four points (65-61) with 7:25 remaining in the game. But Schaefer answered with a 3-point bucket with 7:05 to make it 68-61.

The bucket quieted the Orange Coast crowd and turned out to be the turnng point in the game.

The Comets will be off until they visit Fullerton next Tuesday at 6 p.m..

No. 4 AVC, Coast eliminate Comets in 2 games

VENTURA (11-05-2015) / (11-06-2015) -- Pre-season state No. 4-ranked Antelope Valley ruined Palomar's men's basketball opener on Thursday afternoon with a 91-61 victory in the opening round of Ventura College's We Play Hard Tournament.

Orange Coast then eliminated the Comets on Friday 78-72.

Comets to open vs. Antelope Valley at Ventura

VENTURA (11-05-2015) -- Palomar, coming off a season that saw the Comets tie Mt. San Jacinto for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division men's basketball championship, tips off its 2015-16 schedule on Thursday in the first round of the We Play Hard Tournament.

Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. at the Ventura College Athletic Center.

Coach John O'Neill's Comets, who went 15-12 overall last season and were 6-2 in the PCAC Northern Division, return three starters from that team.

Ryan Schaefer is a 6-foot-0 point guard from Temecula Valley High School.

Matt Duniphan (left) is a 6-foot-8 forward out of Escondido High School.

And Deven Riley (right) is a 6-foot-2 guard from Elsinore High School who came to Palomar a year ago after red-shirting at Irvine Valley College.

The other returnees from 2014-15 are forwards Carston Nyenhuis (6-7, from Vista High School and Reid Bohanan, a 6-foot-6 forward from Murrieta Valley High.

The freshmen on the team are Kevin Hardyway (6-1 guard from La Costa Canyon High who red-shirted at San Diego City College); Jordan Holmes (6-4 forward from Bullard High in Fresno who red-shirted at MiraCosta; Kaisei Joji (5-10 guard from Yurigoaka High School in Japan); Trevon Lampkin (5-11 guard from Elsinore High); Holden Haskett (6-5 forward from Horizon Christian Academy who spent last year at Auburn University strictly as a student) and Spencer Benson (6-5 forward from Vista Murrieta High who red-shirted at Mt. San Jacinto).

2014-15 Season

ABOVE: Palomar hams it up with some of its loudest supporters after its overtime win at MiraCosta on Friday night that gave the Comets a tie with Mt. San Jacinto for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North men's basketball championship. -- Photo courtesy of Denise Barba. BELOW: Deven Riley

Riley and Co. win in OT, tie for conference title

OCEANSIDE (2-20-2015) -- Palomar's Deven Riley took over the game in the late going Friday night and won a championship for the Comets.

Riley, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard from Elsinore High School, scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the last 8 minutes, 16 seconds of regulation and in overtime, as the Comets tied Mt. San Jacinto for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North title with a 67-62 win on the road over MiraCosta.

Riley also hauled in seven rebounds and played lock-down defense on the Spartans' highly-touted Buddha Boyd, holding Boyd to a season-low three points.

He had plenty of help from his friends -- particularly Jeremy Franklin who contributed 14 points and 20 rebounds, 18 on the defensive board, and Matt Duniphan who also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Duniphan also took four charges.

Ryan Schaefer pulled down seven defensive rebounds from his guard position, and point guard James Sampson dished off six assists.

Palomar (15-12, 6-2) led 30-28 at halftime, fell behind by nine in the second half, pulled even at 45, then regained the lead and took the game to overtime as Riley scored 10 of their last 12 points in regulation. He tacked on four points in the OT, while Sampson and Franklin each had two points and Duniphan scored one.

The Comets, who outscored the Spartans 9-3 in the overtime, split their two games with Mt. San Jacinto, the other co-champion, which turned back Grossmont 79-72 in its regular-season finale Friday night. Palomar will find out its post-season playoff fate after the Southern California seeding meeting on Monday morning.

PC comes back to win, is 1 win from North title

EL CAJON (2-18-2015) -- Led by Deven Riley (left), Palomar rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to win on the road over Grossmont 69-57 on Wednesday. Just like the PC women's team, the Comet men's basketball squad can clinch at least a tie for a conference championship by winning its final regular season game on Friday.

The Comets (14-12, 5-2) are still tied for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Northern Division lead with Mt. San Jacinto, which snapped San Diego Miramar's three-game win streak 80-66 on Friday and is 21-7, 5-2.

A Palomar win at MiraCosta and a Grossmont win at Mt. San Jacinto on Friday would give the Comets the championship outright. But if both Palomar and Mt. San Jac win, or they both lose, the two teams will share the title.

Palomar roared back in the second half, erasing a 32-26 halftime deficit and opening up a 17-point lead on the G-House before finally wining by 12.

Deven Riley ignited the Comets' comeback, scoring 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Matt Duniphan (right), who was the second-leading scorer for Palomar with14 points, finally put the Comets in front for the first time since early in the game when he converted two free throws with 10:05 to play make it 40-39. The G-House never pulled even again.

Ryan Schaefer (13 points) and Jeremy Franklin (12 points) also scored in double figures for Palomar. Franklin led both teams in rebounding with nine, Duniphan had eight and Schaefer and Riley each contributed six rebounds. The Comets had a 34-24 advantage on the boards.

Shane Shelton led the Griffins with 12 points.

Duniphan gets physical as PC pounds Arabs

SAN MARCOS (2-13-2015) -- Jeremy Franklin scored a typical 19 points. James Sampson narrowly missed a triple-double with 12 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. And K.J. Houston (left), in the starting lineup on Sophomore Night in his final home game at Palomar, gave a performance to remember him by with 10 points and 6 boards.

But the biggest reason the Comets were able to pound Imperial Valley into submission 86-68 on Friday in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference cross-division game at The Dome had to be freshman forward Matt Duniphan, who owned the game inside.

Duniphan (right), a 6-foot-8, 220-pound freshman out of Escondido High School, had his first college double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds (6 on the offensive board) and played his signature physical, blue-collar defense. He took four charges.

The only thing that kept Duniphan from a completely dominant night was that, although he kept battling his way to the line as he muscled his way to the basket and/or got knocked down to draw fouls, he could not buy a free throw. He was 0-for-5 from the line.

Franklin went 8-for-11 from the field, including a spectacular, backboard-rattling slam dunk in traffic with 3:43 left in the second half. Duniphan went 5-for-9 from the field, Sampson 5-for-6 and Houston 4-for-6.

The above four players were a combined 22-for-32 from the field, a 68.8 percent shooting percentage, as the Comets (13-12 on the season) shot 63 percent in the first half and 57 percent for the game.

Palomar balanced its inside game by burying 12 three-pointers, eight in the first half. Franklin was 3-for-6 from behind the arc, Sampson 2-for-2, Ryan Schaefer and Houston each 2-for-4 and Jared Kane was 2-for-5.

And the Comets mixed in some spectacular assists, including two in a row by Schaefer on back-to-back  buckets by Deven Riley and Carston Nyenhuis seven minutes into the second half.


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