St. Augustine senior Trey Kell (shown in a game earlier this season) finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Saints in Wednesday's win over Torrey Pines.
In crunchtime, Trey Kell is always the man.
When the basketball game is on the line for St. Augustine, the 6-foot-5 guard has the ball most of the time.
In Wednesday night’s San Diego Section Open Division semifinals, Kell scored nine fourth-quarter points to lead the top-seeded Saints to a hard-fought 49-45 triumph over Torrey Pines at University City High.
Kell finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Saints (28-2) won their 18th consecutive game to earn a berth in Saturday’s final against La Costa Canyon at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion.
“Yes, with the game on the line, we give the ball more times than not to our clutch guy so we can have a great chance to win,” Saints coach Mike Haupt said. “We got a little rattled at the end, but we’ve had a few kids grow up a lot the last year.”
St. Augustine, the defending Division III state champion, rolled to a 20-5 advantage, the largest lead of the game, early in the second quarter despite a rash of turnovers by both teams.
Torrey Pines (26-5) had a chance to tie the game at 44, but a missed free throw was followed by two free throws by Kell with 31.9 seconds to go; one of two free throws by sophomore Martin Tombe, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds; and, for good measure, two more Kell free throws with 0.3 seconds to play.
“We know what it takes to win a title,” Kell said. “Playing a team like Torrey Pines you have to be prepared to do other things than what you want. We were ready for it, but we rushed things a bit too much.”