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Top-seeded Mavericks roll rival Falcons in championship nightcap

UNIV. OF SAN DIEGO – In a deep Division I playoff bracket, top-seeded La Costa Canyon made sure the seeding held true. Saturday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, the Mavericks started fast and rolled rival and second-seeded Torrey Pines 68-48 to win their first section title since 2006.

“We played really well in the first quarter and got out to an early lead,” said La Costa Canyon forward Drew Kitchens. “Our team was confident and we knew we could do this.”

La Costa Canyon (28-4) came out running and hitting shots, and led 20-11 after the first quarter. Torrey Pines (25-6) scored the first six points of the second quarter, but the Mavericks quickly answered with a pair of Kitchens three-pointers and maintained a nine-point lead at halftime.

“The key was playing tough on defense and getting good shots,” Kitchens said. “They like to run, so if we hit big shots we kept them from running out and we did a good job of that.”

In the third quarter, La Costa Canyon kept up the pace to keep Torrey Pines at a distance. Mavericks guard David Travers hit a three at the third-quarter buzzer to give LCC a commanding 55-40 lead with one quarter to play.

“We went through practice all week just staying poised and knowing what we had to do,” said La Costa Canyon forward Matt Shrigley. “We knew if we got stops, we could get push the ball and get easy baskets.”

In the fourth quarter, La Costa Canyon led by at least 15 points on its way to a 20-point victory. The Mavericks beat Torrey Pines for the second time this season, but did so in faster fashion than a 51-50 victory when the teams met in January.

“The last time we played them it was a slower game, but tonight we got some points in transition,” Kitchens said. “We like to run and the game opened up in the third and fourth quarter, which was good for us.”

Kitchens led all scorers with 25 points, including four three-pointers. Shrigley (15 points) and point guard David Travers (12) also finished in double figures for La Costa Canyon, who didn’t appear fazed by their first title game appearance.

“It’s a big game, but it’s just another game,” Kitchens said. “We wanted to come out and do what we have been doing all year, and that’s what we did.”

For Torrey Pines, guard Joe Rahon scored a team-high 22 points. The Falcons have lost in each of their last two trips to the section finals.

La Costa Canyon – 68 (20-14-21-13)

Kitchens 25, Shrigley 15, Travers 12, Van Dyke 9, Beery 2 (starters) Lea 5

Torrey Pines – 48 (11-14-15-8)

Rahon 22, Kerr 9, Neugarten 8, Heller 2, Vafiadis 2 (starters) Galvin 3, Mainquist 2


Torrey Pines guard Joe Rahon pulls up for a jumper in the lane against La Costa Canyon in the Division I finals

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