LCC’s Tommy McCarthy (4) drives as Lincoln’s Tyree Robinson (left) and Kevon Mitchell defend.
CARLSBAD The San Diego Section seeding committee struggled for nearly an hour on where to place Lincoln High in the boys Division II basketball playoffs.
When the Hornets are all healthy and playing, they’re one of the best teams in the county. But they all weren’t healthy and playing together during much of the season, and were seeded No. 12 for the playoffs.
So what do the Hornets do?
They beat No. 5 Morse in the first round and No. 4 San Ysidro in the quarterfinals to earn a shot at top-seeded and defending Division II champion La Costa Canyon on Tuesday night.
For the first two quarters Lincoln looked like the No. 1 seed, leading by two points at the break. But LCC, after shooting 22 percent in the first half, finally got some shots to fall in the second half and beat the Hornets 67-50.
La Costa Canyon (27-4) advances to Saturday’s title game at Viejas Arena against No. 2 Hoover (28-5).
Lincoln (13-15), which has now lost three playoff games in a row to LCC over the last two seasons, plays third-seeded San Marcos (25-5) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Mira Mesa High with the winner gaining a spot in the state playoffs.
“We were way too hyped in the first half,” said Mavericks sophomore guard Tommy McCarthy, who scored 14 points in the third quarter with 12 coming on four 3-pointers. “Lincoln sped us up in the first half. And we couldn’t hit a shot.
“But I felt good warming up for the second half. Once I started hitting shots, it opened things up for Jeff Van Dyke.”
Van Dyke, the Pepperdine-bound guard, leads the Mavericks in scoring. He had just three points at the half, but scored six in the third quarter and 17 for the game. McCarthy led all scorers with 20.
“We did a good job on Van Dyke, shadowed him pretty well,” said Lincoln coach Jason Bryant. “All their field goals, it seemed, in the second half were jump shots. When guys knock down long jumpers with a hand in their face, there isn’t much more you can do but tip your hat.”
Trailing 18-16 at the half, La Costa Canyon outscored Lincoln 26-14 in the third quarter and stretched the advantage to 55-38 with 3:25 to play.
“We were taking bad shots, didn’t box out on the boards,” Van Dyke said. “But we made some adjustments at the half, everyone stepped up and we finally knocked down some shots.”
Tyrell Robinson paced Lincoln with 18 points while twin brother Tyree added 16. The brothers are bound for Oregon to play football.
Daniel Melifonwu had 11 rebounds for the Hornets, but LCC had five players with at least six rebounds, led by Kyle Sachrison’s nine and Brady Twombly, who finished with eight.
Patrick Fisher came off the bench to score five points and grab four rebounds for LCC.
“Fisher is that invisible guy,” said LCC coach Dave Cassaw. “He does all the little stuff that doesn’t show up in the box score.
“He has the ‘it’ factor. He just gets it.”