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Basket case has Poway on the move

02/22/2013, 10:59pm PST
By Terry Monahan

The homecourt advantage that Poway High thought it had Friday night was taken away.

The homecourt advantage that Poway High thought it had Friday night was taken away.

When the backboard at the south end of the Titans’ gym could not be lowered for the game, everyone headed off to nearby Rancho Bernardo High for the San Diego Section Division I quarterfinal game against Chula Vista.

Instead of the comfortable surroundings at home, No. 2-seeded Poway played the first half as if the Titans had never seen the Broncos’ gym before, trailing by as much as 10 points.

Poway finally found enough of a groove to dispatch the Spartans 52-42 with a second-half rally, outscoring Chula Vista 31-18 to wipe out a 24-21 halftime deficit.

“This was quite a distraction,” said Poway guard Mandy Castro, who took game scoring honors with 14 points. “We’re used to our own gym and our own pregame cheer in our locker room. It was weird all night long, playing a blue-and-white team in a blue-and-white gym.

“We’ve played here enough times that we finally found our way.”

Poway (22-7) will face Rancho Buena Vista in Tuesday’s semifinals.

The game should be at Poway providing the basket at the south end is repaired in time.

Poway, which has now won three straight games, struggled to take a 40-38 lead halfway through the fourth quarter before finally taking charge with an 8-0 run.

Castro salted away the win by hitting six of seven free throws down the stretch.

Poway, which defeated Chula Vista 60-35 in the Kiwanis Tournament on Dec. 19, forced Chula Vista (18-9) into 22 turnovers and a 13-of-47 shooting night from the floor but still struggled to put the Spartans away.

“Chula Vista came ready to play,” said Titans coach Jay Trousdale, whose team reached the semifinals for the 18th time in his 26 years at Poway. “They played hard and took us out of our game in the first half.

“We didn’t go hard enough on defense and in our man offense, and that is disappointing.”

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