Men's Athletes of the Week
Knights’ McClain, Comets’ Garcia are Men’s AOTW picks
DEC. 5, 2016 - Darien McClain of San Diego City College has become the second straight SDCC basketball player to be selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference’s Men’s Athlete of the Week. He shares the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 award with Palomar wrestler Alberto Garcia.
McClain, a 5-foot-9, sophomore point guard from O’Fallon Township in O’Fallon, Illinois and a transfer from the University of Tampa where he played in 17 games as a true freshman last season, was the MVP of the 45th Grossmont College Tournament. There, McClain and the Knights went 3-0, won the tourney championship, ran their win streak to seven games and upped their record to 12-3.
McClain scored 16 points and dished off 8 assists in an 81-75 win over Santa Monica in the first round of the tournament. He contributed 4 assists and 4 steals in an 81-56 victory over Moorpark in the semifinals. And he scored 26 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 3 assists as SD City defeated host Grossmont 77-58 for the tourney championship.
Garcia, a sophomore out of Orange Glen High School, won three straight matches by fall after receiving a first-round bye, pinning Adrian Murillo of West Hills Lemoore in the finals, to win the Southern California Community College 133-pound championship at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.
Garcia’s performance helped the Comets finish second in the SoCal Regionals, just behind the winning team, state No. 1-ranked Cerritos, and ahead of the third-place Regional finisher, Mt. SAC. Garcia and the Comets now advance to the CCCAA state tournament on Friday and Saturday at Victor Valley College.
Honorable mention for the week went to Mt. San Jacinto basketball player Trey Nottingham, Palomar basketball player Keegan Cummins, San Bernardino Valley basketball player Brandon Jolley and Grossmont basketball player Bryce Parsons.
Nottingham, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, scored 70 points in three games and was named tourney MVP as Mt. San Jacinto (9-3) won its first three home games of the season to capture the championship of the Hoops and Crops Tournament. Nottingham scored 14 points, dished off 11 assists and had seven rebounds in Mt. San Jac’s 94-64 win over Cuesta in the first round. Nottingham led the Eagles past Santa Ana 114-89 in the semifinals with 27 points and 5 rebounds. He also led Mt. San Jac past Riverside City College in the championship game with 29 points, 5 assists and 7 rebounds.
Cummins, Palomar’s 6-foot-10 freshman center from Escondido High School, had a huge game in a 90-86 loss to Santa Monica in two overtimes in the consolation semifinals of the 45th Grossmont College Invitational. Cummins scored 28 points, hauled in 17 rebounds, delivered 6 thundering dunks and blocked 2 shots. The previous day, Cummins had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in a 65-62 opening-round loss to Moorpark.
Jolley, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore forward out of Pasadena High School, scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds as San Bernardino Valley downed 80-67 to open the 65th Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament at Antelope Valley College’s Chelette Court at Marauder Gym. He came back in the semifinals with 24 points, going 8-for-10 on 3-pointers, and hauled in 9 rebounds in a 73-72 loss to Fullerton. Jolley then scored 11 points for the Wolverines (9-1) as they won the third-place game 92-67 over Ventura.
Parsons, a 6-foot-1 freshman guard from West Hills High School, contributed 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists as Grossmont defeated Balboa Prep 75-62 in the first round of the Griffins’ own tournament. He had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists as the G-House defeated Los Angeles Southwest 81-66 in the semifinals. In the championship game he had 15 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists in the Griffs’ loss to San Diego City.