Since Sweetwater and Mt. Carmel's boys' basketball teams were moved from Division I to Division II this year, the possibility of a replay of last year's cliffhanging finale--won by Sweetwater--was a possibility.
The early ouster of the Red Devils to Carlsbad Wednesday made that an impossibility.
But Mt. Carmel's playoff hopes are alive. The Sundevils held their own against Chula Vista Thursday and defeated the Spartans, 74-63, in a San Diego Section first-round game delayed a day by a power outage.
Mt. Carmel (19-7) stifled the three-point shooting of Jerome Green, who made four three-pointers and 12 of his 16 points in the second quarter. Chula Vista (14-13) went cold from that range in the second half, converting 1 of 11.
Dana Pope was responsible for stopping Green. He also contributed to Mt. Carmel's offensive punch. Pope scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made four assists.
Jon Young added 13 points for the Sundevils, who shot 80% (24 of 30) from the field. Teammate Ryan Wootton scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Kearny 84, La Jolla 55--Kearny's Darnay Scott scored only six points but had 20 rebounds, 10 steals and five assists. Mike Oviedo led No. 1 Kearny with 15 points. La Jolla's Craig Woodall led all scorers with 21 points. Kearny Coach Bill Peterson pulled his starters out for most of the second half. Kearny is 22-5. La Jolla finished 3-20.
St. Augustine 84, Madison 70--Madison pulled within six in the fourth quarter after making four three-pointers. No. 4 St. Augustine then put its starters back in and the Saints pulled away. Mark MaGee led St. Augustine (14-11) with 29 points. Matt Kenney added 14 points and eight rebounds. Matt Baker led Madison (13-11) with 16.
Ramona 95, Santana 58--No. 3 Ramona jumped out to a 21-0 lead and had few difficulties the rest of the way. "We started out with a great deal of intensity on defense," Ramona Coach Al Schaffer said. "Our guys were very anxious to play. It seemed they were ready to play on Monday." Ramona (18-5) was led by Alfonso De La Nuez, who scored 21, and Clint Cook, who scored 20. Cook finished the first quarter with 10 points. Ramona plays USDHS Tuesday in the Division III semifinals. Chad Barry led Santana (7-15) with 32.
USDHS 56, Rancho Bernardo 38--This wasn't as easy for No. 2 USDHS as it should have been. Rancho Bernardo, which finished 4-19, took a 9-0 lead and held a 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The score was tied, 27-27, at halftime. A full-court press helped USDHS (20-4) take the lead and pull away in the third quarter. Dave Withers led the Dons with 23 points, Eric Barajas added 14.
Mountain Empire 79, Holtville 74--No. 3 Holtville outscored Mountain Empire, 53-41, in the second half, but it wasn't enough. Mountain Empire, which outscored Holtville 23-9 in the second quarter, was led by Mark Noland, who scored 22 points including four three-pointers, and Gilberto Gonzalez, who also had 22. Holtville finished 10-12, Mountain Empire is 13-10.
Coronado 66, Imperial 53--No. 4 Imperial started strong, outscoring Coronado, 14-4, in the first quarter. Coronado (7-16) recovered and had a 30-11 run in the fourth quarter. "Their size just wore us down," Imperial Coach Kerry Legarra said. Coronado, who was led by Adam Smith's 24 points, converted 26 of 38 free throws. Mike Pena led Imperial (8-14) with 18.
Clairemont 89, Army-Navy 64--Alex Love sat out the final 4 1/2 minutes and still contributed 41 points and 17 rebounds for No. 2 Clairemont (11-11). Love was 14 for 15 from the free-throw line and 13 for 16 from the floor. Sophomore teammate John Brady added 21 points and was four for six from the three-point line. Army-Navy (13-8) kept it close until the Chieftains surged in the third quarter.