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(PHOTO BY MELINDA FINN)
Palomar's women's team is all smiles after blowing out Irvine
Valley for the championship of the Erin Tomlinson Coast
Christmas Classic. BELOW LEFT:
Tourney MVP Keisha Cox gets a jump shot away over Canyons' Erika
Mercado. -- Photos by Russell Scoffin. BELOW RIGHT:
Jessica Scott, who
played a major role in all three of the Comets' wins in the
Comets roll in
championship game; Cox MVP
MESA (12-20-2014) --
Leading 27-20 at halftime, Palomar came out
in the second half Saturday night and rocked Irvine Valley's
world as the Comets won going away 74-55 in the championship
game of the 23rd Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic at
Orange Coast College.
Keisha Cox led the Comets (11-1) past
the Lasers (11-2) with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and
received tournament MVP honors. She was joined on the
all-tournament team by Palomar teammates Jessica Scott and Tessa
"It was a geat team win against a very
good Irvine Valley team," coach Leigh Marshall said. "We had a
tough time scoring in the first half, but we were able to create
offense from our defense in the second half."
Melissa Allen (14 points off the bench)
and Scott (13 points, 9 rebounds) also scored in double figures
for the Comets, who defeated Saddleback and College of the
Canyons to reach the championship game. Chelse Ayala went
6-for-6 from the free throw line and finished with eight points.
Balcom, the star of the Canyons game, added seven points.
"We had a lot of contributors tonight,"
Palomar will be idle until Jan. 3, when the Comets
visit Long Beach City College in their final
non-conference game before opening their Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference season on Jan. 7 at
Tessa Balcom takes the ball in to score early in
Friday's 89-82 win over College of the Canyons,
putting Palomar in front 4-0.
Photo by Hugh Cox.
penetrates as the Cougars' Jennifer Franco (24) lands awkwardly
behind her. -- Photo by Stephen Davis.
Chelse Ayala, one of the players that
sparked Palomar off the bench
Balcom comes up big as PC
reaches title game
MESA (12-19-2014) --
Tessa Balcom came up
big as Palomar defeated College of the Canyons 89-82
on Friday night to reach the championship game of
the 23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas
The Comets (10-1) and
Irvine Valley (11-1), which defeated tourney host
Orange Coast 61-38, will play for the tournament
at 5 p.m.
Balcom "stepped up huge"
for Palomar at both ends of the court, coach Leigh
Marshall said. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard out of
Ramona High School scored 20 points, second-high to
teammate Keisha Cox's 21 points, and also made major
contributions both defending and handling the ball.
Balcom passed off for four assists.
Jessica Scott had another big game for
the Comets with 15 points and four rebounds. Chelse Ayala
(right, 14 points, four assists) and Lynnzy Troxell (10 points,
seven rebounds) turned in strong performances off the bench.
Cox fouled out with eight minutes left
in the second half but her teammates picked the Comets up.
Palomar led at halftime 48-33. The
Cougars cut the margin to three points with 12 minutes remaining
in the second half, but Troxell played a big role down the
stretch when she scored six straight points.
ABOVE: Keisha Cox
drives to the bucket to score with just under a minute to play
as she all but ends Saddleback's hopes of winning Thursday's
opener in Orange Coast's 23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast
Christmas Classic. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW:
Jessica Scott, who combined with Scott to score 66 points.
Cox lifts Comets past
Gauchos with 35 points
MESA (12-18-2014) -- Keisha Cox narrowly missed a triple-double with 35 points, 11
rebounds and 8 assists on Thursday as she led the
Palomar women's basketball team to what coach Leigh
Marshall described as an "ugly" win over Saddleback
The Comets won for the
ninth time in 10 games in the opening round of the
23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic
at Orange Coast's Peterson Gymnasium and will play
College of the Canyons in the semifinals on Friday
at 5 p.m.
"Keisha and Jessica Scott
carried us in a game in which our defense
was sloppy," Marshall said. "It was ugly, and we
were fouling everywhere and sent them to the line
for 29 free throws. But it's good for us to get an
Scott cointributed 21 points and 7
rebounds for Palomar. Lynnzy Troxell had 10 points in just 15
minutes. Cox also had 2 steals.
The tournament will conclude on
Comets move up to No. 3 in state
Palomar has moved up a
spot to No. 3 in the California Community College Women's
Basketball Coaches Association state rankings.
Mt. SAC (11-0) is ranked No. 1 in the
state. The Mounties are followed in the Top Ten by No. 2 College
of the Sequoias (11-2), the Comets (8-1), No. 4 El Camino (6-1),
No. 5 Irvine Valley (6-1), No. 6 Cypress (8-2), No. 7 Fullerton
(7-1), No. 8 East Los Angeles (8-1), No. 9 Sierra (9-3) and No.
10 Pasadena City College (4-1).
Mt. San Jacinto (7-2) is the only other
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team in the Top 20. The Eagles
are ranked No. 12.
Palomar, under coach Leigh Marshall
(left, photo by Hugh Cox) is ranked No 2 in Southern California
behind Mt. SAC.
Members of the Palomar women's basketball team are all smiles
after 99-60 over West Los Angeles in the third-place game at the
Charger Classic at Cypress College. -- Courtesy photo.
BELOW: Lee Lee
Tomlinson, who held West L.A.'s Zhane Carter, the leading
community college scorer in the state, to 14 points, less than
half her average of 29 points.
back to win by 36 points
Lee Lee Tomlinson held Zhane Carter, the state
community college scoring leader, to less than half her average
with 14 points and Palomar's women's basketball squad bounced
back from its first loss of the season by routing West Los
Angeles 99-60 on Sunday afternoon.
The victory came in the third-place
game of the 31st Charger Classic at Cypress College and advanced
the state No. 4-ranked Comets to 8-1 on the season.
"Lee Lee did a great job defending (Carter),"
coach Leigh Marshall said. Carter came into the game with a
Palomar, which was upset by tournament
host Cypress 83-74 in the semifinals on Saturday night, led
44-31 at halftime, then blew out West L.A. in the second half
The Comets put five players in double
figures -- Tessa Balcom with 22 points, Melissa Allen (18
points), Lynnzy Troxell (18 points), all-tournament selection
Keisha Cox (13 points) and Jessica Scott (10 points). Balcom
drained 6-of-9 attempts from behind the 3-point arc.
Palomar outrebounded the
Wildcats (formerly the "Oilers") 63-42,
led by Troxell with 13 rebounds, Cox with 9, Balcom and Aliah
Marshall with 7 each, Allen with 6 and Scott and Tatiana Navarro
with 5 each. Cox dished off 11 assists.
The Comets shot 45.9 percent from the
field and 43.5 percent on 3-points, making 10-of-23.
Comets' rally falls short as they take
Palomar, the state's No. 4-ranked women's
basketball team, rallied from a 27-point deficit
with 16:40 left in the game to close to within 4
points with 4 minutes to play Saturday night.
But the Comets fell short and were upset by No.
8-ranked Cypress 83-74.
The Comets, after losing for the first time in
the 2014-15 season in a semifinal game at the
31st Charger Classic against the host team, are
7-1 going into Sunday's 1 p.m. third-place game
against West Los Angeles. Cypress is 7-2.
"We got outworked and outhustled in the first
half," coach Leigh Marshall said. "We played
much better in the second half but couldn't pull
ourselves out of the hole."
The Comets trailed at the half 49-25.
Keisha Cox (left, 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6
assists, 4 steals) and Melissa Allen (right, 20
points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals) led the Comets.
Palomar's Lynnzy Toxell had 9 points and 8
rebounds. Jessica Scott contributed 8 points and
8 rebounds.Titiana Navarro also scored 8 points.
Jeana Magana led Cypress to the victory witn 31
points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
State No. 4-ranked Palomar remains
No. 4-ranked Palomar turned back Santa Monica 69-63 in the late
game Friday night at the 31st Charger Classic at Cypress
College, remaining unbeaten on the season at 7-0.
Coach Leigh Marshall's Comets will play
tournament host Cypress, the state's No. 8-ranked team, in the
semifinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner faces either Orange
Coast, a 75-67 winner over Grossmont, or West Los Angeles, a
102-94 winner over East Los Angeles, for the tournament
championship on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Melissa Allen (left, 20 points), Keisha
Cox (16 points) and Jessica Scott (right, 12 points) led the
Comets past the Corsairs. Cox also had 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4
assists and 4 steals. Scott completed a double-double by pulling
down 10 rebounds. Allen also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists and
Tessa Balcom led Palomar in assists
The Comets took a 34-32 lead at the
half, then drew away in the last 20 minutes.