Basketball (M)

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9th Straight Win and 4th Tourney Title for Knights


The Knights came away with another piece of hardware on Saturday night after an 84-76 win over College of the Canyons that earned them the Bill Brummel Classic (Saddleback College) championship for the first time since 2012. Wonder Smith was named tournament MVP for the third time this season and Robert McCoy was selected to the all-tournament team. 

City, winner of nine consecutive games, is off to its best start in team history at 16-2, two games better than after 18 games last season. The Knights have made it to the championship game of all six tournaments they have played in and have won four titles, including the last three.

The Knights had a 12-point lead midway through the second half of Saturday's championship game against Canyons, but the Cougars clawed their way back to within three points with 3:43 remaining. The Knights, however, were clutch from the free throw line down the stretch as they made all eight of their attempts to pull away for the win. 

Luis Salgado (17 points) and Adrian Byrd-Jelinek (14 points) had strong performances off the bench. Smith had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Robert Taylor provided 15 points. 

City started the tournament off with a close 82-80 victory over Irvine Valley on Thursday. With the game tied at 78-78, Luis Salgado put the Knights ahead for good after completing a three-point play with 1:59 remaining as he was fouled on a successful layup. Esposito put in 15 points to go with eight rebounds. Smith led the Knights with 24 points and McCoy added 18. 

The Knights never trailed in the semifinal game against Cuesta and went on to win handily, 87-65. McCoy put up 23 points and nine rebounds in the rout, while Smith provided 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. 

There is one more tournament remaining on the schedule before the Knights begin conference season. They will start the MiraCosta tournament after the new year on January 2 vs. Los Angeles Pierce at 2 p.m.

Box Score vs. Irvine Valley
Box Score vs. Cuesta
Box Score vs. Canyons