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Men's Basketball

'California State Tournament 3rd Place 1958-59'

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

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View, Download Images of Photos by Hugh Cox

The 2014-15 Palomar Comets

Photo by Hugh Cox

2014-15 Season

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 (left) 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.

For Chaffey (8-3), Mufaro Murinda scored 19 points. Breejae Flonnoy added 18 points.

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.

Thursday's loss eliminated the Comets from the tournament.

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 (left, 18 points), Chris Sorapuru (right, 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.

Vasilje Saraba (24 points) and 6-foot-8 Australian Manny Malou (22 points) led Yuba. The 49ers' starting front line measured 6-foot-9, 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-6, with a 6-foot-10 and two 6-foot-6 players coming off the bench.

Palomar plays state No. 5-ranked Chaffey, a state Final Four team for the last two seasons and the state runner-up in 2013, in the consolation semifinals on Friday at 1 p.m. Santa Ana upset Chaffey in their first-round game on Thursday 67-66.

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 LEFT: Sampson, who was named to the all-tournament team. BELOW RIGHT: 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 (left) 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 (right) 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.

Saddleback defeated Southwestern 61-45 in the championship game. In the consolation finals, Los Angeles Harbor defeated St. Katherine 93-84.

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.

ABOVE: Ryan Schaefer drives against St. Katherine Friday in the feature game of the first day of the Palomar Thanksgiving Tournament. BELOW LEFT: Cameron Jackson scores for the Comets in transition. -- 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.

Southwestern, with 11 sophomores on its roster and a physical, imposing team, got 20 points from Shawn Lathan on the way to its victory over L.A. Southwest.

In the day's first game, L.A. Trade Tech fell behind Miramar 31-26 at the half, then came back to win 79-77 as Antonio Singleton, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Long Beach buried the winning basket from 15 feet out at the buzzer even though he was knocked down. Singleton scored all 32 of his points in the second half as the Beavers won  Michael Jones-Mensah, a 6-foot-5 sophomore from Ghana, scored 26 points to lead the Jets.

Saddleback, with two 7-footers and an overpowering physical team, hammered Harbor 68-50 in the second game. 

The tournament runs through Sunday at The Dome.

View, Download Hugh Cox's Photos From This Event

Deven Riley (20), shown in Palomar's 69-52 victory over Orange Coast last week, and the Comets will begin play in the 10th Annual Palomar College Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets try to go 4-1 as 3-day tourney opens

SAN MARCOS (11-27-2014) -- Palomar will try to go 4-1 to begin the men's basketball season on Friday at 7 p.m. when the Comets play the St. Katherine University 'B' team in the feature game of the 10th Annual Palomar College Thanksgiving Tournament at The Dome.

Other first-round games Friday in the eight team, three-day tournament will match Los Angeles Trade Tech vs. San Diego Miramar at 1 p.m., Saddleback vs. Los Angeles Harbor at 3 p.m. and Los Angeles Southwest vs. Southwestern at 5 p.m.

If the Comets beat the Firebirds, they'll face the L.A. Southwest-Southwestern winner on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the semifinals. The Palomar-St. Katherine loser will play at 3 p.m. Saturday against the L.A. Southwest-Southwestern loser.

The tournament will conclude on Sunday with the championship game at 5 p.m.

The Comets will be attempting to win their own tournament for the first time. They advanced to the finals two years ago, losing to defending state community college champion Fresno City College.

Previous tournament winners have been the San Diego All-Stars in 2005, Saddleback (2006), Mt. San Jacinto (2007), Arizona Western (2008), College of the Desert (2009), Mt. San Jacinto (2010), Mt. San Jacinto (2001), Fresno (2012) and Saddleback (2013).

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 (above right)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.

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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