Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Minus Kitchens, No. 4 LCC cooks No. 6 El Camino
Mavericks earn league sweep of Wildcats without injured captain
OCEANSIDE – Without senior forward Drew Kitchens, No. 4 La Costa Canyon still cooked No. 6 El Camino on Tuesday night. The Mavericks beat the Wildcats 73-61 on the road to sweep their Avocado West League series and stay on track for a league title.
“It feels great. We were down our captain, which made it tough, but it feels good to get the win,” said La Costa Canyon senior forward Matt Shrigley.
La Costa Canyon (21-4, 5-1 Avocado West) led 35-33 after a back and forth first half. Leading El Camino by one early in the third quarter, the Mavericks went on a 9-2 run to take control of the game.
“Coach gave us a great talk, telling us to stay poised, keep our heads and give them no second chances on defense,” Shrigley said.
Sparked by the run, La Costa Canyon extended its lead as the third quarter wound down. Mavericks guards Zach Beery and David Travers hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to give LCC a 58-42 lead with a minute left, and the Mavericks held a 14-point advantage headed into the final quarter.
“It’s really different because he is such a great shooter and such a great passer,” Shrigley said about playing without Kitchens. “It is a little more stagnant on the court, but it felt good tonight.”
In the fourth quarter, El Camino (21-5, 1-4) came as close as 10 points but La Costa Canyon was able to cruise to a comfortable 12-point win. The Mavericks are tied with Rancho Buena Vista atop the Avocado West League with two games to play.
“We just have to get these next couple ones,” Shrigley said.
Shrigley filled the role of the injured Kitchens quite nicely on both ends of the court. The junior forward scored a game-high 31 points – including four three-pointers – and on defense held El Camino guard Dayton Boddie to 14 points.
“(Kitchens) was not going to put up the 25 that he usually does, so David (Travers) and I felt like we needed to carry a little bit more of the load tonight,” Shrigley said.
Travers was the only other La Costa Canyon player in double figures, scoring 13 points. There is no timetable for Kitchens’ return following a leg injury on a hard fall against Rancho Buena Vista on Feb. 4.
“He got taken out pretty bad and we’re just letting him see how it feels,” Shrigley said.
Three players finished in double digits for El Camino, led by guard Chris Gorman’s 23 points. The loss was the Wildcats’ first at home this season.
La Costa Canyon – 73 (17-18-23-15)
Shrigley 31, Travers 13, Beery 9, Van Dyke 7, Sachrison 6 (starters) Eibel 7
El Camino – 61 (19-14-11-17)
Gorman 23, Boddie 14, Beard 13, Tucker 5, Snow 4 (starters) Baldwin 2
La Costa Canyon forward Matt Shrigley puts up an off-balance shot in traffic against El Camino