Torrey Pines Rolls to Easy Triumph
John Farrell likes his team’s chemistry. He likes the way they work together. He thinks they’re going to be very good.
He thinks they’re only about 35% of where they will be at the end of the season. They’ve had only three practices with a full team.
That’s the scary part.
Torrey Pines rolled to its second big victory in a row at the Lt. Mitchell Memorial Tournament with an 84-51 victory Friday night over another Division II team, Escondido.
Escondido (2-2) hung tough for a while. But Torrey Pines (3-2) brought out the bug spray late in the first half, went on a 17-3 run over the final 3 minutes 29 seconds and the rout was on.
The 45-34 halftime lead became increasingly one-sided.
Escondido coach Mike Williams said his team is still a couple of weeks behind. Five of his players were on the football team, which reached the second round of the playoffs, “and they’re just now starting to get their basketball legs.”
Which might explain why Escondido ran out of gas. But Torrey Pines presents problems for many teams from the opening tipoff.
“Their height,” declared Damian Cephas, a two-time all-Avocado League player. “For big men, they’re quick and they box out well. And they’re always going hard.”
That’s an evaluation coming from a 6-foot-7 player who is being recruited as a guard.
And the Falcons are big. They started junior Scot Pollard (6-11) and seniors Peter Bates (6-7 1/2) and Craig Brown (6-4) on the front line. And they had John Allred (6-5) coming off the bench.
Escondido, in addition to Cephas, countered with 6-2 junior Mike Frank.
Torrey Pines held a 47-19 rebounding edge. Pollard scored 24 points, had 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. In the fourth quarter, just for kicks, he twice took passes under the basket and dunked the ball over his opponents just to show he could have done it all night.
“He’s capable of doing things like that,” Farrell said. “Next year, he’s going to put another 15, 20 pounds on (his 220-pound frame).”
Pollard had help. Brown and Steve Lemery scored 18 points apiece. Bates had 13.
Cephas scored 15 for Escondido and Frank added 10.
Torrey Pines led after one quarter, 21-20, but Escondido’s 11-2 run early in the second gave the Cougars a 31-28 lead. Then Torrey Pines turned it on, taking advantage of a successful half-court trap that gave Escondido fits. Brown scored seven points, Pollard six during the 17-3 streak.
Torrey Pines shot 58% from the floor (32 of 55) but Escondido kept pace with five 3-point baskets until the Falcons’ big run.
Escondido made six of 10 from beyond the 3-point line in the first half, seven of 15 in the game.