Ed Bedford 2:59 a.m., May 22
Decisive win caps big week, puts Torreys back in Coastal League race
LA JOLLA – After an uneven start to Coastal League play, La Jolla Country Day is charging back into contention. Friday night at home, The Torreys used defense to dominate Francis Parker 53-35 in a win that exacted revenge and moved them squarely into the league title picture.
“We were confident, and we came out and played lights out,” said La Jolla Country Day senior guard Nick Schlossberg. “The mindset of this game was to get them back like they got us, and that’s what we did tonight.”
La Jolla Country Day (14-6, 4-2 Coastal) scored the first eight points of the game and led 17-7 after the first quarter. The Torreys held Francis Parker (11-11, 4-2) to four points in the second quarter to open up a convincing 28-11 lead by halftime.
“We just wanted to play as a team – not as five individuals but just come together – and we really did that this week, especially in practice,” Schlossberg said.
Francis Parker opened the second half with a 9-2 run, but couldn’t get closer than double digits as La Jolla Country Day held an 18-point lead after the third quarter. The Torreys led by 24 points in the fourth quarter, and comfortably avenged a 22-point loss to the Lancers on Jan. 13.
“This is the toughest part of our schedule, and if we beat [Francis Parker] we’d be on a steady pace to win league go on to CIF,” Schlossberg said. “We’re really excited about this win.”
Schlossberg scored 14 points to lead La Jolla Country Day – including three three-pointer – and was one of three Torreys in double figures. Off the bench, 6-foot-8 sophomore center Jordan Poland finished with 14 points for the Torreys and presented problems for Francis Parker on both ends of the floor.
“We have a new big guy this year and he helps us out as a defensive and offensive presence,” Schlossberg said of Poland. “We put in a new play for the big man, and every time he’s open we try to get him the ball and let him do his work.”
After a loss to Horizon on Jan. 20, La Jolla Country Day sat near the bottom of the Coastal League with a 1-2 record. The Torreys focused on defense to turn their fortunes around, and since have held their last three opponents to season-low point totals.
“About halfway through league we knew we weren’t playing great defense, so we decided to change it up a little bit and play more help defense,” Schlossberg said. “We really came together and decided we were going to shut down teams and make it happen on the offensive end. It’s just been working out since then.”
La Jolla Country Day came out of its biggest week of the season with wins over Army-Navy and Francis Parker. As a result, the Torreys are right in the mix for a league title.
“I think we can win this thing,” Schlossberg said. “If we win out, we win the league, and that’s our mindset.”
Senior guard Dalante Dunklin led Francis Parker with 14 points, but the Lancers’ star was held to only two points in the first half. Since the 2004-05 season, the Lancers had beaten La Jolla Country 14 times in a row.
La Jolla Country Day – 53 (17-11-10-15)
Schlossberg 14, Bamford 11, Burmeister 8, Brewster 5, Tuites 0 (starters) Poland 13, Damanhoury 2
Francis Parker – 35 (7-4-9-15)
Dunklin 14, C. Polk 10, B. Fitzner 6, Baker 4, Jenkins 0 (starters) 1 point unaccounted
Pictured: Francis Parker guard Coleman Baker blocks the shot of La Jolla Country Day guard Jordan Brewster