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El Camino, Torrey Pines, LCC and Poway notch wins at showcase

POINT LOMA – With five of the section’s top 10 teams in action at the second annual Elite Eight Showcase, Point Loma Nazarene University became the capital of San Diego high school basketball on Monday. In the new north-south format, north schools swept the four-game showcase highlighted by No. 2 El Camino and No. 3 Hoover facing off in the third game, with the Wildcats beating the Cardinals 75-68 behind a balanced attack.

“We wanted to prove a point that we were better than they were,” said El Camino head coach Ray Johnson. “Going into league we wanted to see where we were and I think we proved to ourselves we’re on the right track.”

Trailing by five late in the third quarter of a game that was back and forth from the start, El Camino (18-1) closed with on a 9-2 run to take a 55-53 lead into the fourth. In the final quarter the Wildcats made timely shots to pull away from the Cardinals, leading by no less than four in the final three minutes.

“We stayed together, played hard and hustled more,” said El Camino guard Trevon Tucker.

El Camino prevailed with a balanced team effort, with four of five starters finishing in double figures led by guard Jacob Snow’s 24 points. Guards Chris Gorman (15 points), Dayton Boddie (15 points) and Tucker (11 points) all played significant roles offensively along with center Mookie Beard, who totaled eight points and 10 rebounds.

“We have five or six guys that play really hard, know their roles and trust each other,” Johnson said. “We’re coming together and we’re getting better.”

Battling against Beard and multiple defensive looks, Hoover center Angelo Chol led Hoover (13-6) with a game-high 27 points to go along with eight rebounds and three blocks. Guards Chris Jones (12 points) and Shaquan Cain (10 points) also chipped in for the Cardinals in the loss.

“We have one senior and we need other guys to show up to play and be committed to playing a whole game and being focused for a whole game,” said Hoover head coach Ollie Goulston. “There were times in this game when we made some young mistakes and it cost us.”

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Hoover guard Chris Jones drives to the hoop between El Camino guards Trevon Tucker and Dayton Boddie

Other Elite Eight action

No. 7 La Costa Canyon finishes strong to take down No. 10 Francis Parker

Plagued by poor finishes at times during the preseason, No. 7 La Costa Canyon overcame a slow start to beat No. 10 Francis Parker 64-52 in the nightcap. Trailing by 10 at halftime, the Mavericks held the Lancers to 11 points in the second half to complete the north sweep.

“The talk in the locker room was just to settle down and that if we played hard we would be able to come back and get them,” said La Costa Canyon forward Matt Shrigley. “We re-focused.”

After controlling the first half, Francis Parker (11-6) watched its lead evaporate in a third quarter where the Lancers were outscored 20-4 by La Costa Canyon. Francis Parker simply ran out of energy down the stretch, shooting 3-for-18 from the field in the second half.

“We ran out of gas and we stopped making shots,” said Francis Parker head coach Jim Tomey. “It’s the cumulation of playing a lot of basketball.”

For La Costa Canyon (16-3), Shrigley scored a game-high 22 points and forward Drew Kitchens had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Eric Norman led Francis Parker with 19 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort.

“It was a good effort by our club,” Tomey said. “I was happy with how we played, but I would have liked to finish a little better.”

No. 4 Torrey Pines mans up to beat Morse in fast-paced contest

In the second game of the showcase, No. 4 Torrey Pines beat Morse 76-64 in an up-and-down affair. Leading by three at halftime, the Falcons switched to man-to-man defense in the second half to slow down the Tigers and roll to a 12-point win.

“We were playing a lot of zone press and man-to-man press and we weren’t really rebounding well out of it,” said Torrey Pines guard Max Heller. “Coach made the switch after halftime and we really dug down defensively and started to get rebounds. That was the difference.”

Torrey Pines guard Nick Kerr broke open a close game midway through the third quarter with threes on back-to-back possessions to put the Falcons ahead by nine. Torrey Pines (12-4) had an eight-point lead headed into the fourth quarter.

“It wasn’t so much us, it was really them. They hit all their shots and it was tough for us to defend,” said Morse guard Deonte Flowers. “We had a hand in their faces and good defensive possessions, but we came up short.”

Still fast-paced in the fourth quarter, Morse couldn’t get close enough to challenge Torrey Pines. The Falcons led by as much as 15 on their way to a comfortable win, their second over the Tigers this season.

“We really wanted to come out here and make sure that we beat them the right way and I think the last three quarters we did that – we played the way that we wanted to play and got up and down and forced turnovers,” Heller said.

Four Torrey Pines players finished in double figures, led by Rahon (19 points) and Kerr (18 points). Heller finished with 17 points and 11 assists.

“When we go into league we play the same teams two times,” Rahon said. “It is nice to play other teams in San Diego and see how we stack up against everyone.”

Flowers led Morse (10-8) with a game-high 22 points. The senior was the only Tiger who scored in double figures.

Poway beats Horizon in opener despite 27 from Cross

In a game that was close throughout, Poway beat Horizon 50-46 in the first game of the showcase. The Titans led by three at the end of the third quarter, and held off the Panthers in a tight final quarter.

Center Sam Beeler and guard Bryson Brockman led Poway (9-8) with 14 points each. For Horizon (5-8), guard Tyler Cross scored a game-high 27 points.

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