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Saints, Torreys occupy No. 1 spots to start and finish

The La Jolla Country Day girls and the St. Augustine boys finished the season ranked No. 1 in San Diego.

Both started the season No. 1.

In a season that runs 30-plus games, it’s not often teams go wire-to-wire — starting No. 1 and finishing No. 1.

While LJCD barely wavered, Saints had an up-and-down start.

“We hit a rough patch over Christmas,” St. Augustine coach Mike Haupt said of a 1-4 stretch, including a loss to Grossmont.

The Saints’ top seven players are underclassmen, and Haupt said the “team’s youth really showed.”

Plus, the Saints were hit hard by COVID-19 and injuries during that period.

“And we didn’t do a good job of playing with leads,” Haupt said. “But we got well, the boys came together, and we got it done.”

Jurian Dixon, St. Augustine’s leading scorer, said, “We didn’t let falling out of No. 1 get to us. And we didn’t let getting back get to us.

“But finishing No. 1, winning the Open Division, means a lot to all of us.”

The Saints (23-7) are the No. 6 seed in the boys Open and will travel to No. 3 Sierra Canyon on Wednesday in the Southern California Regionals. The LJCD (24-2) girls, No. 2 in the Open, host Santa Ana Mater Dei (7), also Wednesday.

Big crowds

The CIF capped attendance at Saturday’s boys and girls championships at 2,000 for each game.

The Montgomery High gym was packed for the San Ysidro-Saints boys game with fans standing along the railing above the court.

The crowd wasn’t quite as large for the girls — LJCD vs. Mission Hills — but the gym was comfortably full.

There is a good chance the CIF will continue to play its championships at school sites rather than colleges.

The stars are out

Some of the county’s top players — candidates for Player of the Year — will be in action in the Southern California Regionals.

On the boys side, look for Dixon (St. Augustine), freshman Jake Hall (Carlsbad), Martin Flores and Sebastian Medina (San Ysidro), Jaden Label (Cathedral Catholic), Otto Landrum and Logan Huston (Torrey Pines) and Mike Murray (Victory Christian Academy).

San Marcos star Devon Arlington has a strained Achilles and hopes to play.

On the girls side, McDonald’s All-American Ice Brady (Cathedral Catholic) and junior Breya Cunningham (LJCD) are headliners.

They are joined by Jessica Grant (Mission Hills), Angelina Robles and Renee Chong (Bishop’s), Mahliya Wilson (Bonita Vista), Amanda Kramer (Scripps Ranch), Emmy Stout (Maranatha Christian) and Madison Huhn (Carlsbad).

Hot shooting

In four playoff games, Mt. Carmel’s Jaden Matusalem made 17 of 29 3-point shots, 59 percent.

He scored 101 points in 87 minutes played.

On the season, he’s 109 of 227 on 3s, 48 percent.

As a team, the Sundevils (23-9), the San Diego Section Division II champions who play at Dana Hills tonight in the Southern California Division III Regionals, made 388 of 1,121 3-point tries — both CIF records.

In the playoffs, Mt. Carmel had 11 3s vs. Valhalla, nine vs. Henry, 15 vs. Montgomery and 10 vs. Otay Ranch.

Hot shooting II

The Mission Hills girls, who play at Corona Centennial on Wednesday in the Open Division regional, have made 389 of 1,160 3-point attempts this season, 34 percent.

Jessica Grant has made 157 of 380, 41 percent.

The Grizzlies made 14 3-pointers against Bishop’s, 11 vs. Cathedral Catholic and 14 vs. La Jolla Country Day in the San Diego Section Open Division final.

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