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El Camino overcomes double-digit deficit

02/05/2014, 10:31pm PST
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

No. 6 Wildcats rally for victory over No. 3 La Costa Canyon.

El Camino's Devin Watson (shown in a game early this season) scored 26 points in the Wildcats' win over La Costa Canyon on Wednesday.

— For a guy who wasn’t supposed to play Wednesday after having his wisdom teeth removed Saturday, El Camino High’s Devin Watson was feeling no pain.

By the time the 6-foot point guard hit his final free throw, it was La Costa Canyon that was feeling under the weather.

Watson made his surprise appearance a worthy one with 26 points, including the game’s final point, to give the No. 6-ranked Wildcats a 74-70 victory in overtime.

El Camino’s 14th consecutive triumph has the Wildcats (21-3, 5-0) alone atop the Avocado West League.

“I would have needed someone to sweep me off my feet to keep me out of this one,” said Watson, who also grabbed six rebounds. “I came into the game too hyped up, but I finally found some composure just in time.”

Watson led a fourth-quarter charge to outscore the No. 3 Mavericks (20-4, 4-1) 26-13 to tie the game on Watson’s jumper with 1:18 left in regulation.

“We threw caution to the wind in the fourth (quarter),” El Camino coach Ray Johnson said. “We could have laid down there a couple of times.

“We’ll see them in Round 2 in a couple of weeks, and probably in Round 3 down the road.”

La Costa Canyon — playing without point guard Tommy McCarthy, who missed the game with the flu — bolted to a 68-63 lead in overtime before the Wildcats scored nine unanswered points, taking a 70-68 lead along the way.

Sam Bockman hit two free throws for a 72-68 lead, LCC’s Fritz Eibel’s jumper made it 72-70 and Dakota Orr and Watson each hit one of two charities to clinch the win.

La Costa Canyon appeared on the way to victory with a 44-29 lead midway through the third quarter.

It was the largest lead of the game.

“I kept telling the LCC players we were going to win, even down 15,” Watson said. “I was true to my word.”

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