Torrey Pines Holiday Classic Day #1.

The National Division features four teams in the top 25 and promised to have some incredible games, unfortunately most of the teams didn't...

Results from the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic…

The National Division features four teams in the top 25 and promised to have some incredible games, unfortunately most of the teams didn't cooperate.

** Defending champion El Camino disposed of Loyola in a not-as-close-as-it-appears 71-62 game in which El Camino never trailed, and Loyola never got closer than five in the second half. 

** When San Diego High and St. Anthony stepped on to the floor it looked as if it would be a high scoring, highflying dunk fest.  Both teams are loaded with long lean athletes who can get well above the rim, and both looked ready to put on a show.

End of first quarter, St. Anthony 10, San Diego 4.

It wasn't a pretty game, as San Diego threw the ball all over the court, often jacking long threes (at least one falling away) to beat the shot clock, but their quickness kept St. Anthony's offense from clicking. 

For a while anyway. 

By the end of the first half it was over as St. Anthony's led 24-11.  St. Anthony's junior forward Barney Anderson had a little something for each one of the many scouts on hand, draining long jumpers and banging inside for rebounds and put back points, as well as playing tough ‘feet-first' fundamental defense against San Diego's incredibly long armed Chauncey Wiseman.  Final score, St. Anthony  58, San Diego 37.

Clovis West opened their game against Eisenhower with a 9-0 run on back to back to back treys from Kevin Hurley.  Despite a sweet stroke from senior Eisenhower forward Brandon Kennedy (17 pts.) Clovis never looked back winning 82-68.

** Dominguez struggled early and a scrappy Los Alamitos team hung on as long as they could but mid way through the fourth period Dominguez went on a 9-2 run to pull away, eventually winning 62-49.

The marquee match ups came near the end of the day. 

** The first placed NorCal #1 Bishop O'Dowd against an athletic Freemont squad.  Bishop's star 6'8" center Jesse Byrd said after the game, "We definitely have something to prove, we're #1 in North California but #8 overall?  That doesn't make sense, so we're down here to send a message that we can play with anybody."  Against Freemont they certainly made a statement.

Both squads came in amped up and struggled from the field early, but Bishop finally seemed to wake up when Freemont attempted to press.  At the four-minute mark 5'8" guard Chris Cobb and senior leader Tommy Arnold broke the press easily on consecutive possessions getting easy baskets in the process, and it seemed to spark the rest of the team as they went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes.  Byrd, a junior who will be highly recruited next season dominated the boards, grabbing 13 for the game, and an amazing seven in a row on the defensive glass during the second quarter.  Bishop owned the offensive glass also, as one point getting six offensive rebounds in one possession.

Even when Freemont's high-pressure defensive scheme did cause Bishop problems, Freemont was unable to convert.  For nearly three minutes at the beginning of the third quarter Freemont held Bishop to only one basket, but could only cut the lead from the halftime deficit of ten to six.  A quick timeout and Bishop did what has taken them to the top (Tuesday's loss not withstanding) in NorCal, drew up a play and ran it perfectly.  The classic high post gave Arnold an easy lay-up and Bishop never looked back. 

Freemont looked as if they had one last run in them near the end of the third, but it wasn't to be.  As Cobb, Arnold, and Byrd all rested Freemont turned up the heat on Bishop's second string guards, but not only did the fundamentally sound Bishop O'Dowd hold their lead, they actually extended it, finishing the game up by nineteen, 55-36.

**  The closest game of the day was Flanagan's two-point win over Martin Luther King.  The difference was Flanagan's nearly 85% clip from the
charity stripe.

** Last but not least was the big time match up of Escondido and De La Salle.  The air came out of the ball a little on this one as Escondido's star guard Lorenzo Keeler wouldn't play after breaking his hand last week.  "That one hurts," said Head Coach Paul Baldwin, "he's good for 30 a night."  In his place it was sophomore Matt Adams stepping up and carrying the load.  Adams was almost literally a one man show for the Cougars in the first half, dropping 18 of his teams 29 points. 

In the second half though Escondido made a concerted effort to get the rest of the team involved, and with decidedly poor results.  De La Salle and their balanced, precision offense opened the third quarter with an 18-4 run that featured De La Salle and their 2/3 match up zone only allowing Adams two shots in the first six minutes of the third. 

For De La Salle Kyle Roemer was the Windex, grabbing eleven boards, and keeping Escondido's Kevin Small occupied while teammates grabbed countless others.  Often his rebounds turned into put back points, but this kid is down their enjoying the dirty work, not looking for scoring glory.  Point Guard Justin Argenal played great fundamental defense on Adams, but even though Adams often left him in the dust, Argenal was fantastic on the offensive end, distributing the ball quickly and evenly, never picking up his dribble, and directing traffic with poise.

By the end of the third the contest had been decided at De La Salle had gone up by twenty, 57-47.  In the fourth Adams once again tried to take over, but by this time it was too little too late.  With 2:08 left an Adams three capped a 9-2 run that pulled the Cougars back to within 14, but that would be as close as they would get, eventually losing 67-49.

James Renwick

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