REGION — When the Under Armour Holiday Classic started on Dec. 26, San Diego basketball fans and experts felt that this might be the best chance for a local team to win the championship of the prestigious tournament’s top division.
Foothills Christian, St. Augustine, Army Navy and Torrey Pines comprised the largest local contingent in the top division since 2013, and the Knights, led by presumptive All American TJ Leaf, appeared to be the tournament favorite.
On Tuesday night, the dreams of a San Diego final were dashed, as Foothills Christian and Army Navy both dropped their semifinal matchups- Army Navy lost a close battle with Los Angeles power Fairfax 49-42, and Foothills Christian lost a lopsided game against a Corona Centennial team that they had beaten earlier this year and was missing one of its top players.
The Foothills Christian loss was particularly shocking because of the score: Corona Centennial beat the Knights 67-52.
St. Augustine was knocked out of the winner’s bracket in the second round after being crushed by Foothills Christian, and Torrey Pines were edged 43-41 to the Fairfax team that then took out Army-Navy.
Foothills Christian will take on Army Navy in the third place game at 11:05 a.m. on Dec. 30.
In the tournament’s American Division, San Marcos High advanced to the semifinals, but were beaten by Los Alamitos. The Knights, led by Fresno State University signee Johnny McWilliams, Jr., will take on Curtis, WA for third place.
La Costa Canyon, which hosted the tournament’s third division (Senators), will play in the third place game of that bracket against Long Beach Jordan.
Poway and La Jolla Country Day are the only local teams to make it to the championships of their respective divisions. Poway, which defeated Sonora High of La Habra in a runaway victory Tuesday night, faces Riverside Poly in the Governor’s Division final. La Jolla Country Day crushed Kearny to advance to the championship of the fifth and final bracket, the Mayor’s Division. The Torreys will face Palm Springs High.