Harold Abend's San Diego Section Roundup

Boys Rankings (records include games through 2/4)

1) Horizon (22-1) -- The Panthers warmed up for the Friday night showdown with Lincoln by mauling Bishop's at home on Tuesday 83-22. Jared Dudley led six players in double figures with 22 points.

2) El Camino (20-3) -- The Wildcats can beat you inside with Gyno Pomare or outside with Mikel Watson...they seem to be beating everyone in the north county. Tonight they travel as far north as you can go, to Fallbrook, to battle for league supremacy...it should be a fun ride home if El Camino can keep it going.

3) Lincoln (23-1) -- Last night La Jolla gave the Hornets as much trouble as they gave Horizon in falling 75-70 to Lincoln in their warm-up for the game at home Friday against the Panthers. Having a tough game right before Horizon would seem to benefit Lincoln. Can they turn it into a win on Friday? I'll be there to let you know the details...expect a tough physical game...and maybe a little running.

4) Rancho Bernardo (16-6) -- When the Broncos won their division in the National Prep Classic in December, word was they were a one man team....and with suffering a couple of losses that probably should have been in the win column many wondered how Rancho Bernardo would do in the tough league competition of north San Diego County. On Friday night the Broncos answered both questions as the visitors against Torrey Pines. The one "man", 6-9 Georgia bound Mohamed Abukar, was unstoppable in the first half as Rancho Bernardo mystified the Falcons by opening a 27-11 lead midway through the second quarter before taking 35-23 lead into the locker room at the intermission. In the second half, with Abukar in foul trouble and Torrey mounting a furious comeback with the overflow crowd screaming approval...it would have been easy for the Broncos to fold after the Falcons took the lead at 44-43 with 4:51 left to play. Instead, the Broncos showed they are going to be a force this season. First, junior guard Andrew Olson drained a 3-pointer...then Abukar, who had been held scoreless for almost 17 minutes, drained another "3" and Torrey's comeback was history. Abukar was way under his season average (section leading 30.4PPG) with 17 points, but Olson had 15 and played solid defense against the bigger backcourt of the Falcons as Rancho Bernardo prevailed 54-48. Although highly animated on the sidelines, coach Kevin Keller was calmer but clearly stoked after the game. "This game shows the true character of our kids...they hung together and found a way to get it done." Added Abukar when asked about the surprisingly strong start, "We wanted to come out and make a statement. We know that they have a good team and a nice history at Torrey Pines, but we want to show we can play with anybody."

5) Torrey Pines (17-4) -- Josh Kramer and Avi Fogel were a combined 1-of-10 from the 3 point arc...and the team was only 4 of 11 from the free throw line...and the team was ravaged by the upper chest flu (yours truly is also suffering) yet coach John Olive blamed himself for shifting defenses that led to the back-breaking 3-pointers that squelched the Broncos comeback against Rancho Bernardo. Olive is a great coach...Kramer had a terrible first half against Abukar...and Fogel is one of the top backcourt players in the north county. I believe we will hear more from Torrey before the year is over.

Girls Rankings (records include games through 1/4)

1) La Jolla Country Day (17-4) -- A light week last week for the Torres. Tonight Calvin Christian comes to town....they probably should keep the bus running.

2) San Diego (22-3) -- Charde Houston (section leading scorer at 34.8PPG) just continues to burn and shred nets wherever she plays. Yesterday it was for 48 points in a 112-38 blowout by the Cavers of Morse. Will she and her teammates withstand the Kearny full court press one more time this year? We will see very soon.

3) El Camino (17-4) -- One way or another, I believe that the Wildcats and the Cavers will vie for the section Div I title...and either may have the potential to move forward in regional play. El Camino continues to play well against Div I competition in league play. Yesterday Megan Johnson had 24 points as El Camino dominated Fallbrook on the road 77-44.

4) Kearny (15-2) -- The mural painted on the wall of the gymnasium at Kearny shows a Komet (comet) blazing across the sky. Well that Komet or even Haley's Comet couldn't move any faster than the Kearny Komets girls basketball team. On December 6, they flew the entire 32 minutes against Castle Park and scored 128 points. Then last Friday they secured a place in California girls basketball history when they scored 137 points in 32 minutes against a Morse team that has given up 100 several times these past two years. According to Cal Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis, the 137 points ties for the 3rd most ever scored in a game by a girls team in state history. How much more can these girls score? Yesterday against Pt.Loma I needed an abacus, a calculator and all my fingers and toes to add up the statistics in a 101-28 drubbing of the Pointers. The Pt. Loma coach tried to put in Terri Mann but unfortunately she is married and coaching in Georgia and was unavailable for the game..ha..ha. Instead, Amber Pullin of the Komets turned in a Mann-like performance with 33 points, 6 assists and 6 steals. Joining her in the statistical boondoggle were Daphne Kennedy with 16 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists and 9 steals...and Brandi Scott with 14 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots...and Dorchella James with 19 points, 10 assists and 8 steals...and Darletta Yap with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 blocks...WHEW! These girls play hard and fast...with a full court press...three point shooting...constant fast breaking...and lots of passes to teammates for easy buckets. Their style is tough on opponents, however, colorful and dapper coach Scotty Gilbert is unrepentant. "I only have eight girls right now...most of them are juniors and sophomores and they want to play hard. I can't hold them back." Asked about his philosophy, he had a simple answer. "I mean no disrespect to other teams but our goal is to score 100 points and hold the other team to 40 each game." That certainly has been happening against the Komets' lesser opponents. Can they win the big games against girls of equal or greater ability? San Diego and Charde Houston are looming again. The press almost got her last time. Almost is the key word.

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