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North County teams win some, lose some at MLK Day Showcase

REGION — In just two years, former Mission Vista basketball Coach Davion Famber has established a daylong basketball showcase at his new school, Christian High of El Cajon, that has become a destination for high school basketball fans on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

The second annual MLK Day Showcase featured eight varsity games between high school teams from across San Diego County, including six from North County: Rancho Bernardo, Canyon Crest Academy, Carlsbad, Mission Vista, Sage Creek and Escondido Charter. 

North County’s contingent went 3-3 during the daylong event, including a dramatic 55-53 win for Escondido Charter over Liberty Christian in the first varsity game of the event. 

With the White Tigers trailing 53-51 with less than 20 seconds left, senior guard Aristotle Douglas scored a jump shot to tie the game, and fellow senior guard Kyle Lapid was fouled after he stole the ensuing inbound. Lapid made both free throws to give the White Tigers its first lead of the entire game and the improbable victory.

“We stole this one,” Escondido Charter Head Coach Dave Vidosic said after the game. “I give the guys a ton of credit for finding a way to win. It didn’t look good there for a while.”

Mission Vista and Carlsbad proved dominant in their respective games. The Timberwolves of east Oceanside handily defeated Southwest El Centro High 59-37 in the showcase’s second varsity game, hitting eight three pointers in the first quarter to start the rout.

Sophomore forward Ty Cox scored 14 points to lead the Timberwolves, and junior forward Aden Twyman nearly registered a triple double, notching 11 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists in the winning effort. 

Carlsbad played in one of the showcase’s marquee games against Division 3 power Sweetwater, but the Lancers — one of the top teams in CIF Division 2 — controlled the game from the first quarter en route to a 61-47 victory.

Caleb Nelson led four Carlsbad players in double figures, including Jailen Nelson with 13, Carter Plousha with 12 and Chase Murray with 11. 

Sage Creek, Rancho Bernardo and Canyon Crest suffered defeats at the hands of Montgomery, Chula Vista Mater Dei Catholic and Christian, respectively.

Sage Creek turned the ball over 24 times in its 60-51 loss, which came despite a stellar 19-point, 18-rebound effort from senior forward Nick Sonck.

Rancho Bernardo led Mater Dei Catholic 31-28 at halftime, but faded down the stretch in the 76-70 loss as the result of turnovers, empty possessions and the hot shooting of Crusaders sophomore guard Kailon King, who finished with 21 points.  And Canyon Crest lost to the showcase hosts in the event’s final game 50-28.