Etiwanda’s defense shuts down La Jolla Country Day girls in SoCal Regional basketball semifinals

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The visiting No. 3 seed in the Open Division holds down the No. 2 Torreys’ scorers.


When La Jolla Country Day School met Etiwanda for the first time this season, the Torreys got the best of the Eagles 70-65 on Jan. 28.

But in the second meeting March 4, with a berth in the CIF Southern California Regional Open Division final on the line, No. 2 seed Country Day went cold from the field and third-seeded Etiwanda managed to do just enough to beat the Torreys 47-42 in the semifinals at the Country Day gym.

The Torreys’ 11-game winning streak was halted and Etiwanda (30-3) will go to the championship game Tuesday, March 7, against No. 1 seed Sierra Canyon.

La Jolla Country Day, the CIF San Diego Section Open Division champion, lost for the first time at home this season and finished 29-4.

“It was one of the worst shooting nights of the season,” Torreys coach Terri Bamford said. “They’re [the Eagles] a very good defensive team. It’s what they’re known for.”

Etiwanda stayed with a zone defense that forced Country Day to rely on outside shooting.

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

March 3, 2023

The Torreys, holding a 35-29 lead halfway through the third quarter, lost their offense punch, and Etiwanda went on a 13-2 run to take control.

Country Day cut the deficit to 42-41, but that was as close as the Torreys got.

“We got up on them but then we stopped moving the ball well enough,” Bamford said. “If we could do it again, we’d like to eliminate the turnovers to shoot better.”

The Torreys had 16 turnovers.

Neither team shot the ball well. Etiwanda was 17 for 46 from the field while Country Day struggled to a 14-for-44 night. ◆