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Foothills Christian freshman takes charge

02/27/2013, 11:12pm PST
By Bill Dickens, Special to the U-T

T.J. Leaf leads Knights into Division V title game.

— Foothills Christian freshman T.J. Leaf said he enjoyed the challenge of playing against The Rock’s 6-foot-11 senior Ali Morovati. Leaf did so despite giving away four inches to the Warriors post man in Wednesday night’s San Diego Section Division V semifinal at Mount Miguel.

“I used my quickness to offset his size advantage,” said Leaf, who scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Knights’ 60-48 victory.

Foothills Christian will meet Horizon on Friday in Viejas Arena for the title. The Knights have won five of the last six Division V championships.

Leaf dribbled around and shot over Morovati all night as he nailed 11 of 15 shots from the floor. Two of his connections were 3-pointers.

Knights coach Brad Leaf was impressed by his son’s domination of the game.

“Hey, I’m a coach and he’s my son, but there’s no denying T.J. took over the game,” the coach said.

Leaf scored 14 points in the second quarter, giving the Knights a 36-29 halftime edge over The Rock (20-8).

While Leaf was mopping up inside, freshman guard Luis Salgado-Villegas was hitting four 3-pointers on his way to a 14-point finish for Foothills Christian.

“He’s our ‘Latin Assassin,’?” said T.J. Leaf. “If you leave him open, he’s gonna hit it.”

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