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Torrey Pines takes North County Academic League championship

COAST CITIES — The North County Academic League varsity playoff final could have been called “The Showdown of Del Mar Heights Road” or “The Battle of the Birds,” as the Torrey Pines Falcons defeated their Coast Division rivals, the Canyon Crest Academy Ravens, to capture the championship and the right to compete in the San Diego County championships April 28. All of the rounds of the county finals will be broadcast live on ITV, cable channel 16.
Torrey Pines beat Canyon Crest, 169-63, in the Ravens’ first visit to the varsity championship match. The first five minutes of the match was a back-and-forth battle, but the veteran Falcons soon pulled away and cruised to the victory behind the lightning-fast buzzing-in of Sharad Vikram on the toss-up questions. Torrey Pines, coached by Nona Killmar, was the regular season Coast Division champ, and San Dieguito Union High School District rival Canyon Crest, under coach Brian Shay, was the Coast’s runner-up.
Winners and runners-up of the NCAL’s four divisions participated in the varsity playoffs. First-round matches saw Rancho Bernardo defeat North Division runner-up Rancho Buena Vista, 97-61; Torrey Pines defeat Valley Division runner-up Valley Center, 122-61; Canyon Crest down Valley champ Fallbrook, 129-59; and Inland runnerup Mt. Carmel beat North champ Carlsbad, 92-77.
In addition to Torrey Pines’ win over Rancho Bernardo, the other semifinal match saw Canyon Crest beat Mt. Carmel, 122-77.
Torrey Pines won the NCAL Freshman championship by virtue of its 85-43 victory over Inland Division champ Rancho Bernardo. The Falcons, Coast Division winners, pulled out to a 47-26 lead 10 minutes into the 25-minute match, but the Broncos closed to 54-43 with six minutes left. The Falcons shut out the Broncos the rest of the match for the decisive win.
The North County Academic League consists of teams from 27 public, private, and charter high schools that hold weekly competitions answering questions based on the California state curricula and current events. Sponsors for this unique academic extra-curricular program are welcome. Visit the NCAL website at