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Stiff competition toughened Torreys

03/21/2014, 4:50pm PDT
By Craig Malveaux

La Jolla Country Day faces Reedley Immanuel in SoCal Regional Division V final Saturday

Mai-loni Henson leads La Jolla Country Day with 15.2 points a game.

Seeded fifth, La Jolla Country Day drew No. 4 La Costa Canyon in the opening round of the San Diego Section Open Division girls basketball playoffs.

The Torreys were quickly ousted by the Mavericks, losing 71-67.

Weeks later, though, La Jolla Country Day remains the lone San Diego boys or girls high school team still playing.

Each team in the girls Open Division Final Four bowed in the Southern California Regional playoffs — Bishop’s, LCC, Mater Dei Catholic and Mount Miguel.

The Torreys, however, dropped to Division V for state competition, where they were seeded third.

Beginning with Shalhevet, La Jolla Country Day (19-11) has trounced its opponents, easing past each squad by an average of 37.3 points to clinch a berth in the SoCal Regional final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Colony High in Ontario.

No. 4 Reedley Immanuel (22-6) awaits.

“The level of competition that I’ve scheduled our team to play throughout the season has certainly prepared us for what we’d see in the state playoffs, the teams that have very good offenses, great post players and great shooters,” said Torreys coach Terri Bamford. “Our schedule, even league, was really tough.”

More like brutal.

In addition to Open Division opponents, La Jolla Country Day challenged Colorado teams — in the Sweet 16 Invitational — and some of the toughest California girls basketball teams in Huntington Beach, Newbury Park, Agoura and San Juan Capistrano JSerra.

When positioned back in a division with similar-enrollment schools, La Jolla Country Day has thrived, limiting three opponents to 35 points or fewer. LJCD has averaged 65 points per contest.

Sophomores Mai-loni Henson (15.2 ppg) and Mariana Ecija (10.8) and senior Sabrina Callahan (13.5) lead the Torreys in scoring.

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