Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
No. 5 Torrey Pines survives young rival Canyon Crest
DEL MAR HEIGHTS – Facing neighbor Canyon Crest for the first time on Tuesday, No. 5 Torrey Pines didn’t play its best basketball but still claimed local bragging rights. The Falcons jumped on the Ravens early and controlled the game for a 70-53 win.
“We’re not playing well right now – that’s something we’ve been struggling with,” said Torrey Pines guard Nick Kerr. “We have to find a way to get out of it and start playing the way Torrey Pines always plays.”
Torrey Pines (11-4) jumped out to a 9-2 lead at the start of the game by pressing and trapping Canyon Crest, and the Falcons led 25-14 after the opening quarter. After the Ravens scored the first five points of the second quarter, Torrey Pines enjoyed a 14-3 advantage for the remainder of the quarter to extend its lead going into the half.
“We’re small, so we have to work hard,” Kerr said. “We have to work harder than we have in the past because we don’t have a big guy.”
After an up and down first half, the game slowed to a halt in a choppy second half in which both teams combined for 30 personal fouls. Canyon Crest (11-6) cut the deficit to 13 points near the end of the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer than that as 23 foul shots were attempted in the final quarter.
“With no flow we couldn’t get out on the breaks,” Kerr said. “Every other play was a free throw.”
After the game, Kerr expressed frustration despite Torrey Pines’ 17-point victory. The Falcons lost their previous two before picking up the win over Canyon Crest.
“At least we got the win, but we have a lot to clean up,” Kerr said. “It has been the same story all year – we’re not executing offensively and we’re reaching in on defense.”
Torrey Pines did do a solid job of bottling up Canyon Crest center Cory Osetkowski for most of the game. With a coach from Columbia on hand, the 6’10” senior finished with 21 points – 11 in the third quarter – and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.
“He was bigger than us but we were usually in pretty good spots,” Kerr said.
Joe Rahon led Torrey Pines with a game-high 24 points. Kerr also finished in double figures with 15.
The second half of the game featured an entertaining back and forth between the visiting Torrey Pines student section, “The Falcon Falthful,” and the Canyon Crest student section. Both sides chanted and exchanged sports and academic-related barbs that reverberated through Canyon Crest’s gym.
Torrey Pines – 70 (25-14-15-16)
Rahon 24, Kerr 15, Vafiadis 8, Neugarten 7, Heller 5 (starters) Galvin 4, Coffelt 3, Schnell 2, Mainquist 2
Canyon Crest – 53 (14-8-17-14)
C. Osetkowski 21, Chenevey 17, R. Adams 8, Rapoport 3, Patterson 0 (starters) C. Adams 3, D. Osetkowski 1
Torrey Pines guard Joe Rahon muscles inside against Canyon Crest guard JP Chenevey