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MLK day basketball features gems

01/19/2014, 10:30am PST
By Craig Malveaux

Six section ranked basketball teams square off in MLK day competition


Sweetwater's CJ Cadua tries to shoot past defending Lynard Steward.

Friday left San Diego basketball fans dazed, dizzied and confused.

At halftime of a matchup between Morse and Hoover, the No. 10 Cardinals trailed by 15 points. Morse stymied Hoover’s offense, holding them to 18 total points while pouring in 33 themselves.

Final score? Hoover 61, Morse 55.

In another matchup, Poway stumbled early against Escondido. Then, the Titans scored 42 points in the fourth quarter, erased a 13-point deficit with a minute left and hit a 3-pointer to push it into an extra period.

In overtime, Poway scored 10, becoming a six-point victor.

In the finale, La Costa Canyon defeated Torrey Pines. Trailing with 6.9 seconds, Mavericks’ point guard Tommy McCarthy drained a 3-pointer to steal a 54-52 win.

“We call that situation ‘home run’ and we practice it all the time,” said McCarthy, who finished with 20 points. “And it doesn’t always end that way.”

That was the appetizer.

Today, the entrée arrives — a slate of quality basketball matchups held at two locations in the county on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Traditionally, Hoover hosts the MLK showcase, however, this season, the tournament, run by former Cardinals coach Ollie Goulston, has been moved to the North county, fielding competition at El Camino high school in Oceanside.

To open, Serra girls basketball team (10-6) squares up against No. 3 ranked La Jolla Country Day (9-8), followed by Horizon (5-7) taking on section leading scorer Lynard Stewart and the San Ysidro (6-9) Cougars.

The 5-foot-9 junior guard, who is averaging 28.7 points and 7.1 assists per game, has poured in 30 or more seven times this season and dished out double-digit assists in his last three outings.

To close the tournament, No. 9 ranked Hoover (13-7) removes itself from Eastern league play to battle a solid Lincoln (9-6) squad with No. 7 ranked San Marcos (11-6) and No. 6 ranked El Camino (15-3) ending the day.

A weekend ago, the Wildcats, led by All-Section guard Devin Watson, trailed Marantha by 17 points at halftime of the Los Angeles-San Diego Challenge before erasing the deficit and sprinting past by 13 points.

In Mission Valley, four of the Top 6 ranked teams clash in a MLK Exhibition doubleheader at Francis Parker.

The No. 6, host Lancers (15-2), who yield two blemishes by a combined tally of two points, challenge the No. 4 ranked Torrey Pines Falcons (14-3), who lost on McCarthy’s buzzer beater.

Capping the doubleheader will be No. 3 La Costa Canyon (16-2) and No. 1 St. Augustine (16-2) — possibly a preview of the Open Division final?

The Mavericks sport two losses by a combined margin of four points while the Saints’ two defeats come by nationally-ranked California opponents.

Good teams. Good matchups. Good players.

Steward and Watson will be on display along with San Marcos’ Ben Perez, Torrey Pines’ Brandon Cyrus and Sam Worman, Hoover’s Miles Nolan-Webb and Damonte Holiday, St. Augustine’s Trey Kell and the Mavericks’ basketball quartet.

Pick either site. Pick any game. You can’t go wrong. Kick back, relax and enjoy the show as some of San Diego’s finest basketball squads honor Martin Luther King Jr.

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