La Jolla Country Day boys come up short in CIF Regional basketball quarterfinals

Basketball game

The Torreys fall into a 13-point hole and can’t fully recover in loss to Buena in Division III playoffs.


La Jolla Country Day School’s hoped-for appearances by both its boys and girls basketball teams in the CIF Southern California Regional semifinals won’t happen this year, as the boys fell into a 13-point hole in their Division III quarterfinal game March 2 against Buena of Ventura and couldn’t dig out, losing 48-44 at home.

The Torreys girls, the CIF San Diego Section Open Division champions and the No. 2 seed in the Regionals Open Division, will host No. 3 Etiwanda in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4.

The boys team, the top seed in Southern California Division III after winning the San Diego Section Division I title, had moved on to Round 2 of the Regionals with a 55-52 victory over Bonita of La Verne on Feb. 28.

La Jolla Country Day School’s boys basketball team was the only one of four La Jolla high school teams to advance past the first round of the CIF Southern California Regional playoffs Feb. 28.

March 1, 2023

    Against Buena, Country Day took a 28-26 lead on a buzzer beater by Anthony Aruffo to cap a back-and-forth first half.
    However, Buena took control of the game in the third quarter, seizing a 13-point lead as the Bulldogs outscored the Torreys 18-3.

    But Country Day outscored Buena 13-1 to open the fourth quarter and cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 45-44 with 4:12 to play.

    Trailing by three, the Torreys missed a pair of three-point shots in the final 30 seconds and Buena made a free throw to put the game away.

    “We had some looks that normally go down,” said La Jolla Country Day coach Mike Ricchiuti. “Credit to Buena, they went into a zone and it disrupted us a little.

    “Really, this was a great game. ... We didn’t fold in the fourth quarter. This is the most exceptional group I’ve ever been around.”

    Chris Carillo scored 11 points for Country Day — eight in the fourth quarter. Aruffo finished with 11 points, including a big three-pointer in the fourth-quarter rally.

    James Wei had eight points, and Garrett “Bito” Bass-Sulpizio finished with seven points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

    No. 8 seed Buena, which had lost in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A championship game, is 29-5 and advanced to the Regional semifinals March 4. Country Day finished the season 24-8.

    — La Jolla Light staff contributed to this report.