The Murrieta Mesa Rams (10-7) played 13 of their 17 pre-season games in tournaments: The Big Daddy Tournament in Hemet, The North County Classic in Fallbrook, and the Ted Smith Sr. Classic Tournament in Riverside.
The Rams went 3-1 in the Big Daddy tournament with wins over West Valley (68-64), Riverside Poly (60-54), and Vista del Lago (64-58). Perris handed them their first loss 52-43. Shane Staton had 19 points in the win over West Valley; Trevon Session had 14. Shondell Smith shot 70 percent (18 pts) and scored ten points in the third quarter against Poly to reduce a 15-point deficit to a two-point game. Staton scored 13 and Khalil Sharpe added 11 points in the loss to Perris. Staton (13), Session (10) and Smith (10) contributed to the win over Vista del Lago.
In the North County Classic, (Dec. 10-15, 2012), the Rams went 2-3 winning their opener 79-72 over Canyon Crest and their final game 65-53 against Fallbrook. In between, they had three losses to undefeated San Marcos (81-56), San Jacinto (62-58) and Poway (69-63). Staton had game-high scores of 27 against Canyon Crest and 21 against Fallbrook.
Over the holidays, the Rams took third place in the Ted Smith Sr. Classic, (Dec. 26-29, 2012), adding three more wins and one loss. They trounced Riverside Christian 82-38, lost to La Sierra 58-44, and beat Banning (70-28) and Indio (82-39). Khalil Sharpe scored 23 in the opener; Kellen Broach added ten.
The rams shot 78 percent from the floor, but only took 24 shots in the loss to La Sierra. Session scored 18 against Banning and 23 in the consolation win over Indio. Sharpe had 14 and Camry Smith added 11 in the victory over Banning.
The Rams opened league play, hosting Chaparral (11-6), on Jan. 9 and visited Murrieta Valley (11-4) on Jan. 11.