Oceanside It may wind up being the dunk heard ’round Oceanside.
It’s not like Quen Meadows has never dunked in a boys basketball game before. And this one didn’t give El Camino High the lead.
But it will be a while before anyone forgets the slam by Meadows.
After a sluggish first half in which the No. 2-seeded Wildcats trailed by 10 points at halftime, El Camino roared back for a 56-52 victory over No. 3 Torrey Pines in Wednesday night’s San Diego Section Division I semifinals.
That comeback booked El Camino (26-5) into Saturday night’s championship game at 8:07 p.m. at Viejas Arena against Mission Hills.
It will be the Wildcats’ fourth title appearance in the last six seasons.
All because Meadows, a sophomore, took an alley-oop pass from senior Immani Sobers and slammed it down to cut the lead by Torrey Pines (20-10) to 36-29 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
“After my dunk, the aura of the whole gym changed,” said Meadows, who led the second-half comeback with 12 points to spark a 17-6 advantage in the third quarter. “I dunked in the last game, but it didn’t have same effect this one had.”
Sheepishly, Meadows added: “I don’t remember the last time I used aura in a sentence, but the gym wasn’t the same after that.”
Neither was Torrey Pines.
After withstanding a severe run by El Camino in the first half that wiped out most of the Falcons’ 11-point lead, Torrey Pines managed to push the advantage to 34-24 by halftime thanks to a 14-4 outburst by the Palomar League co-champions.
Torrey Pines’ offensive effort in the second half was a mere 18 points.
“We did not take many good shots in the second half,” Falcons coach John Olive said. “We made a run in the first half, they made a run and we made another one.
“But they made the last one.”
All the way to the championship game.
El Camino grabbed its first lead at 39-38 on a pair of free throws by Meadows, who finished with a game-high 14 points.
“Down 10 at halftime, I said I wasn’t going to lose this game,” Meadows said. “I’m going to the CIF finals.”