By Hector Trujillo
A valiant fourth quarter rally was not enough for Torrey Pines High School as the Falcons were defeated by the Chaparral High Pumas in the Mayor's Division Championship Game 64-58 in the Max Preps Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament.
The tournament took place Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 at Torrey Pines High School.
The teams were evenly matched during the first half with neither holding more than a five-point lead. But things changed in the third quarter, with Chaparral outscoring the Falcons 18-7 and stretching their lead to 13 points early in to the fourth quarter. It was a lead that the Pumas would not give up for the rest of the game.
"We were facing one of the best team of the tournament," said Falcons junior Trevor Derrett. "We didn't play as well as we did in the tournament and that is why we lost."
After the Falcons were down double digits with less than five minutes to play, Chaparral started to play more of a ball control offense in order to run out the clock and prevent a Falcons comeback.
Despite this tactic, Torrey Pines was able to cause some turnovers and make some three-point field goals to cut the Puma lead to six points with 1:43 left. Chapparal then made several clutch free throws in the final minute of play to help clinch the game and give the championship to the school from Temecula.
"I think we played well overall during the tournament," said Falcons junior Matt Spelich. "Chaparral is a great team that is well coached and I think we played them hard."
Torrey Pines defeated their first three opponents by an average of 27 points, which included a 67-43 victory over Palm Desert in the semi-final match.
Chaparral's average margin of victory on their way to the finals was 13 points including a 74-55 drubbing of Cathedral Catholic in their semi-final. Chaparral senior Mitchell Anderson was named as the Most Valuable Player.