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January 7, 2009 > Torry Pines Basketball Tournament

Torry Pines Basketball Tournament

By Gary van den Huevel

The annual MaxPreps basketball tournament at Torrey Pines (San Diego) hosted 77 teams from around the region, including the Newark-Memorial Cougars and the James Logan Colts. Both teams went 2-2 during the event, which was held from December 26-30.

Coach Craig Ashmore's Cougars started off the tournament on a high note, edging the Foothill Christian Knights by a score of 74-72. After jumping ahead 20-15 at the end of the first quarter, the Cougars faltered in the second quarter to trail by three at the half. Newark roared back to life in the third quarter, outscoring the Knights, 24-12. They were able to hold off Foothill's fourth-quarter rally to secure the two-point win. The Cougars were led by Bobby McCall's 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Casey Norris scored 14 (including four 3-pointers) and Khion Sankey tallied 12 for Newark.

Newark entered their second-round match with a gaudy 9-1 record, but knew they'd have their hands full against Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd Dragons, who, like Newark, were ranked in the top 25 in the state. Newark led by three at the half, 28-25, and clung to a tenuous four-point edge after three quarters. But the Dragons, led by Brandon Ashley's 18 points and Justin Brie's 14, outscored the Cougars 17-13 in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. The Dragons' momentum continued in the overtime period for a 62-55 defeat of Newark. The Cougars were led by Ifeanyi Ezeofor (12 points) and Khion Sankey (10).

Newark's third game, against the Windward Wilcates (L.A.), had none of the suspense of the overtime loss to O'Dowd. Windward raced out to a 36-19 halftime advantage and never looked back, prevailing, 58-39. Ezeofor led Newark with 14 points; Casey Norris scored 23 for the victorious Wildcats.

The Cougars finished the tournament with a 59-48 win over West Valley (Hemet), powered by a strong second quarter in which they outscored the Mustangs 23-16. Ezeofor, again, led the Cougars with 16 points. Evan Kobon kicked in 13 and Bobby McCall added 11 in Newark's winning effort.

Newark returned home with an 11-3 record, ranked 18th in the state.

The Logan Colts entered the tourney with a record of 6-5, and looked impressive in an 87-78 defeat of the Birmingham Patriots (Lake Balboa). Salaimon Siddiq had the hot hand for Logan, scoring 24 points on 80 percent shooting, including four 3-pointers; Dwight Abad contributed 16 for the Colts.

In the Colts' second game, a dominant third quarter by the Mesa Jackrabbits (Arizona), who outscored Logan, 20-7, was enough to send Logan down to defeat by a final of 65-47. Abad led Logan with 10 points.

Logan lost a heartbreaker to the Carlsbad Lancers. Carlsbad's 20-17 edge in the fourth quarter was the difference maker in the 63-60 victory. Siddiq led Logan with 12 points, and Malik Livingston contributed 7 rebounds.

The tournament ended on a high note for the Colts in a 73-59 consolation game defeat of the Bakersfield Christian Eagles. The Colts ran away with the game in the third quarter, paced by Siddiq's 30 points. The Colts ended the tournament with an 8-7 record.

The eventual tournament champion was Bellevue (Washington), who defeated Eisenhower (Rialto), 58-55.

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