Sluggish Start Dooms Warriors against Top-Ranked Palomar

Photo by Brad Jacobson
Photo by Brad Jacobson

COSTA MESA, Calif. – El Camino College came out of the gates slow and it proved costly against the No. 1 team in the state as the Warriors fell to Palomar 83-48 Monday afternoon in the opening game of the Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic Tournament hosted by Orange Coast College.

The Warriors (8-4) were blitzed in the first quarter by the top-ranked Comets (12-0) as they were outscored 25-6 in the opening period and ECC never recovered. The Warriors shot just 2-for-13 in the period and had 12 turnovers in the period as the Comets shot the lights out, going 10-for-18 in the first and 5-for-11 from beyond the arc.

In the second quarter, the Warriors held the Comets to nine points but only trimmed the deficit by three points going into halftime. The Comets finished things off in the second half, outscoring ECC 49-30 in the final 20 minutes to secure the win.

No Warriors player tallied double figures on the day as Nao Shiota led the team in scoring with nine points. Amiete Nyingifa added eight points and six rebounds while Kayla Bibb scored seven and pulled down nine boards to go with a team-high three assists.

For the Comets, Monica Todd led the way with 18 points on 5-for-11 shooting and Andrea Laurent added 17 in just 14 minutes off the bench.

The turnover battle proved costly as the Warriors coughed it up 21 times overall in the game, leading to 25 Comets points. Meanwhile, Palomar turned it over 16 times but limited the damage by surrendering just 10 points off those mistakes.

The Warriors will now head to the consolation bracket of the tournament where they will face Saddleback, a team that lost 67-57 to College of the Canyons Monday in the first game of the tournament. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.