The offense isn’t necessarily designed to pop the Hapgood brothers open in the corner, but with good ball movement the freshman twins found themselves open and buried four 3-pointers in a huge third quarter, sparking host La Jolla Country Day to a 66-55 boys basketball win Tuesday over Carlsbad in a Southern California Regional Division III first-round game.
LJCD hosts Los Angeles-University on Thursday, the No. 16 seed, after the Wildcats upset No. 1-seeded Montgomery by four points in overtime.
A one-point game at the half, No. 8-seeded La Jolla Country Day (19-13) put together runs of 10-0 and 13-3 in the third quarter to take a commanding 46-28 lead.
James Hapgood had three baseline treys in the third quarter and John had one. Ray Lu added a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers as the Torreys opened a 23-point lead.
“I haven’t been shooting it that well,” James Hapgood said. “But once I got something to go — anything, a layup even — I got my confidence.
“I was in a pretty good zone.
“None of that would have been possible without the rest of the guys. You can’t create on your own. We have a really good team.”
A fourth-quarter 3-point flurry by Carlsbad, in which Blake Adams hit four from long range and Bradley Smidt had two, had the deficit down to 10 with 48 seconds to play.
But four late John Hapgood free throws put the game away.
“It took some time, but we got it going,” said LJCD coach Ryan Meier. “Playing in transition is our game.
“We were stagnant early. Then we started to move the ball.”
James Hapgood led the Torreys with 21 points while John had 17. Lu added 14.
Princeton-bound Ryan Langborg was held to nine points, but had eight rebounds.
Tufts-bound Jayson Taylor had four points, but was a monster underneath, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking three shots.
“We needed to rebound, and we did,” Meier said.
“This was a tough game for me, though. (Carlsbad coach) Sam Eshelman is one of my closets friends in basketball. I actually coached him in junior high.”
Caleb Nelson led ninth-seeded Carlsbad (26-7) with 13 points and had eight rebounds. Adams and Smidt added 12 points each. Carter Plousha also had eight rebounds and Jailen Nelson had seven.
Carlsbad, ranked No. 65 in the state and the San Diego Section Division II champion, had its first winning season since 2013-14, and has won eight in a row.
LJCD, ranked 120th in the state, hasn’t had a losing season since 2014-15 and it’s 89-41 in that span. The Torreys lost to eventual champion Cathedral Catholic in the San Diego Section Division I semifinals.
by John Maffei