Talk about basketball teams going in opposite directions.
La Jolla Country Day went from the No. 6 team in the Open Division to the No. 4 seed in Division I after suffering five consecutive losses.
Orange Glen won 10 of its last 11 games, roaring through the Pacific League.
So, when the two squared off in the first round of the playoffs, it would be a team struggling in an extremely tough league against one that was on a roll.
There was a good reason for the Torreys’ apparent collapse.
Princeton-bound Ryan Langborg, one of the top players in the section, suffered back and elbow injuries and couldn’t play. Neither could point guard Ray Lu, the motor of the team. Another starter, John Hapgood, tried playing through an injury with limited success.
At full strength and playing at home Wednesday for the first time in three weeks, LJCD (17-12) looked like the team that was a Top 10 member for all but the last week of the regular season, running away with a 75-44 victory to move into Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Leading the way was 6-10 center Jayson Taylor, who scored 18 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked 11 shots.
“It’s great to have our guys back in time for the playoffs,” said Taylor, who also had a triple-double last year. “We wanted the Open Division, but now we’re trying to win D-I.”
Langborg led all scorers with 25 points, Lu added 12, and Hapgood collected nine.
The Torreys blew open the game with a 13-2 run to start the second half.
Adam Nieves led the Patriots (17-12) with 15 points.
by Steve Brand