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Holiday Classic basketball tournament: Live scores, updates, highlights from Day 3 (12/29/2023)

National Division semifinals feature two local San Diego area squads — St. Augustine and Carlsbad — against Texas entrant Faith Family Academy and NorCal power Mitty

SAN DIEGO — Welcome to Day 3 of the Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines, presented by SBLive Sports.

Friday is the third day of the five-division, 76-team boys basketball tournament that celebrates its 33rd year and concludes on Saturday. More than 20 current NBA players have played in The Holiday Classic, led by K]ay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan and Jrue Holiday.

Day 2 featured many outstanding individual efforts, including two in one of four quarterfinal matchups in the top National Division as Carlsbad junior sensation Jake Hall (38 points) outdueled St. Mary's-Phoenix senior star point guard Styles Phipps (33 points) in a wild 82-81 Carlsbad victory. (See all the top performances from Thursday throughout all five divisions below). 

The top team performance and perhaps most eye-opening was Faith Family Academy (Dallas), an 8-8 squad which took down previously unbeaten JSerra Catholic, 60-42, in the National Division's quarterfinals. Colorado-signee Doryan Onwuchekwa, a 6-foot-10 post, had a game-high 22 points (see interview with him at top of the page). 

Scroll down for the latest live updates, recaps, matchups and game times. Five sites throughout San Diego will host divisions, with Torrey Pines housing almost entirely National Division games. See links to each divisions and game schedules HERE


(At Torrey Pines HS)


Carlsbad 71, Mitty 67 (final)

Carlsbad high-scoring wing Jake Hall grew up attending Holiday Classic games at Torrey Pines games. "And I dreamed of someday playing in the championship game," he said after Friday's wildly entertaining semifinal win before a nearly packed crowd. "That makes this win super special." 

The Lancers, a third division entrant most of the last two decades, reached the finals of the top division by getting inspired performances from a deep and talented team. 

Jake Hall backs down Mitty leading scorer Tyler Jones.

Jake Hall backs down Mitty leading scorer Tyler Jones.

Tony Duckett scored 18 points, Hall added 16 and Jordan Garner 13 as the Lancers made sure there was a local squad in the finals of the highest division in the 33rd Holiday Classic. They'll play red-hot Faith Family Academy of Dallas in Saturday's 8:05 p.m. finals at Torrey Pines. 

They also made sure their coach Clark Allard beat the school he graduated from in 2006. It made for a celebratory night and a satisfying win over a very tough opponent.

"We're very, very excited to get there," Allard said.  

Said Hall: "Coach let us know he went (to Mitty) but he didn't make it personal. We definitely wanted to win for him though and glad we did." 

That made Allard particularly proud considering Hall, the team's headliner who scored 38 points in a quarterfinal game on Thursday, didn't have his best game. 

He got the Lancers (13-2) going early with nine of his points during a 26-point explosion to take a nine-point lead. But he had just seven the rest of the way as Mitty, known for its stellar, hard-nosed defense, spent special attention shutting him down. 

Nathan d'Abreu Noronha (2) swoops in on a backhand layup for Mitty.

Nathan d'Abreu Noronha (2) swoops in on a backhand layup for Mitty.

That just opened the door for guys like Duckett, a 6-4 seniors, 5-10 junior guard Jordan Garner and 6-9 Jael Martin (12 points, 11 rebounds, three steals) to excel. 

"We have enough depth and talent around Jake that if he doesn't have a 38-point game for us to still get it done against good teams," Allard said. 

And Mitty (6-3) was more than formidable. The Monarchs opened the tournament with wins over state Top 10 foe Santa Margarita (43-38) and Montgomery (64-61), a team that beat Carlsbad in the Holiday Classic Tip-Off Night on Saturday. 

The Monarchs (6-3) didn't flinch from the early deficit behind Tyler Jones, a rugged 6-3 point guard, who had 22 points, Grayson Jalal added 13, Gavin Ripp 12 and Nathan d'Abreu Noronha 10. 

 "They have a really good team," Hall said. "(Jones) gets down hill and makes some tough shots. They have really good post players and they're very good at defense." 

Allard figured Mitty would limit the possessions and the games wouldn't get much past the 60s. When the Lancers got off to their fast start, "I thought maybe I was completely wrong." 

Jordan Garner, a 5-10 junior, had 13 points.

Jordan Garner, a 5-10 junior, had 13 points.

But with special attention paid to Hall, their leading scorer did force things. "He's always a willing passer and looking to make the right play," Allard said. 

The game really heated up in the fourth. Garner and Euwan Davis made buckets to break a 54-54 tie. Ripp and Jalal counted with back-to-back buckets to tie it at 58. 

Duckett swooped in for two, Noronha made two free throws, Martin scored another deuce to give Carlsbad a 62-60 lead, a lead the Lancers would never relinquish. 

Two free throws by Hall gave Carlsbad its biggest lead of the fourth, 69-64, but Noronha was fouled shooting a 3 with 9.9 seconds left. He made all three free throws, making it 69-67. 

After a couple of timeouts, Hall clinched the victory with two free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining. Now they get the tough task of playing the two-time defending 4A Texas champs. 

Tony Duckett, a 6-4 senior, had a team-high 18 points.

Tony Duckett, a 6-4 senior, had a team-high 18 points.

"We're going to have to play our best game to compete with those guys," Allard said. "We're definitely going to have to make shots, but most importantly we're going to have to make stops and then really dig in and box out." 

Said Hall: "We just need to do what we do — shoot the 3 — and really rebound and box out." 

Faith Family Academy (Dallas) 75, St. Augustine 55 (final)

Isaac Williams, a 6-2 senior guard, took a long leap from the sideline, saved the ball with his left hand over his shoulder where 6-foot-10, 235-pound post Doryan Onwuchekwa caught it in full stride. With long loping strides, he dribbled furiously up court before lobbing the ball underhanded toward the rim where 6-5 Lamont Hartfield was heading. 

"We've done it before at practice," Hartfield said with a wide smile. "I knew it was coming. The pass was perfect." 

FFA senior guard Isaac Williams had a team-high 22 points.

FFA senior guard Isaac Williams had a team-high 22 points.

A high-flying junior, Hartfield, with head near the rim, sent down a spectacular one-hand left-handed dunk that finished off a sequence destined for Tik-Tok reels or SportCenter highlights. 

It also was a perfect sequence for just how the Eagles of Faith Family Academy Eagles (10-8) out of Dallas are soaring.  

It highlighted an entertaining and complete 75-55 Holiday Classic semifinal victory over a peaking St. Augustine-San Diego squad, which got 31 points from red hot Ian de la Rosa but he simply couldn't match the Eagles all by himself. 

Williams, with lightning rod quickness and nail toughness, led five Eagles in double figures with 22 points. Jazz Henderson added 14 and Onwuchekwa, a Colorado commit, and Tasheim Gary added 12 points apiece. Hartfield was low man among starters with 10, but he was the high man on the play of the night. 

The Eagles are back in the Holiday Classic finals for the the second team in three years. FFA surrendered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the 2021 finals before losing 80-73 to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) in overtime. 

Since then, FFA has won a pair of Texas UIL 4A state championships though its struggled this season while playing a rugged national schedule. With three straight wins here, the Eagles are now 10-8. 

The way they played the last two nights — Thursday it defeated California third-ranked and previously unbeaten JSerra 60-42 — it's hard to believe this team is hovering around .500.

Isaac Williams (10) and St. Augustine's Jaden Bailes (3) battle for loose ball. 

Isaac Williams (10) and St. Augustine's Jaden Bailes (3) battle for loose ball. 

"You never know when you'll find your footing," Faith Family head coach Brandon Thomas said. "I don't know if that's our 'A' game but this was our best win in terms of defensive and rebounding intensity and truly engaging at both ends." 

The Eagles have been more than engaged since Thomas took over seven years ago with seasons of 36-6, 25-6, 36-4 and 32-3. Entering the tournament 7-8 seemed quizzical. 

"I'd say we've played one of the toughest schedules in the country," Thomas said. "It's been a bumpy ride, but we've seemed to battle through it." 

The highlight-reel dunk showed nothing but smooth sailing. A 6-10 post leading the break was a sight not seen very often. Onwuchekwa normally is at the other end of such dunks.  

"Once I saw (Williams) save the ball I just took off," Hartfield said. "(Onwuchekwa) put it up there just like he did at practice. That was fun." 

Jazz Henderson (3) swoops in for another deuce. He finished with 14 points.

Jazz Henderson (3) swoops in for another deuce. He finished with 14 points.

Said Thomas: "What I like most about it was how we shared the ball. Our willingness to share it tonight was key." 

St. Augustine (12-3), coming off an impressive 77-67 win over New York City power St. Francis Prep, were in the thick of it thanks largely to the huge efforts of de la rosa, who drilled six 3-pointers, and 17 points by Jaden Bailes. But the rest of the Saints managed just seven points. 

It wasn't nearly enough to beat the peaking Eagles. 

Early notes: 

* Tasheim Gary, a 6-1 guard with serious hops, closed the third-quarter run at the buzzer with a fastbreak reverse layup. FFA outscored the Saints 23-17 to go up 59-44 heading into the fourth. 

Ian de la Rosa (2) was on fire throughout, connecting on five 3-pointers en route to a game high 31 points for St. Augustine.

Ian de la Rosa (2) was on fire throughout, connecting on five 3-pointers en route to a game high 31 points for St. Augustine.

* After not even taking a shot for 14 minutes, 6-10 Colorado-bound post  Onwuchekwa powered in two inside buckets, was fouled on both and completed 3-point plays. Then after a steal, Williams went end-to-end for a layup, finishing off 10-0 run to give FFA a nine-point halftime lead, 36-27. 

Williams has 11 points at halftime, Henderson eight and Onwuchekwa six for FFA. De la Rosa had 16 had half and Jaden Bailes seven.  

* De la Rosa was on fire for the Saints with four 3-pointers and 14 points in the first quarter when St. Augustine took a 20-17 lead. St. Augustine, which trailed 5-0 and 10-3, but finished on a 17-7 run. From there, Faith and Family took command.


Montgomery 62, St. Mary's-Phoenix 53

JJ Sanchez had 19 points, Alex Sanchez added 15 and Devin Hamilton 13 as the Aztecs rebounded from a late-night quarterfinal loss to Mitty with a hard-fought win over Arizona power St. Mary's, which got 24 points from Cameron Williams and 19 by Styles Phipps. 

Even with the disappointing loss on Thursday, Montgomery jumped out of the gates, taking a 20-9 lead after the first quarter. That proved to be the difference. 

Montgomery closed the first quarter on a 15-2 run to take command. From there, St. Mary's relied heavily on Williams and Phipps to maintain contact. Phipps, who had a combined 76 points the first two games, fouled out with 1:35 remaining. 

Box score


JSerra Catholic 76, St. Francis Prep 57 (F)

The dyanmic duo of Sebastian Rancik (18 points) and Aidan Fowler (20) put on another big show as the Lions (14-1) rebounded from a disappointing quarterfinal loss to Faith Family Academy (Dallas) with a resounding consolation victory.

JSerra took a 36-25 lead at halftime, watched New York power close inside double digits before putting on the afterburners in the fourth with a 27-point explosion. Korin Hull and Drew Bowman were other big contributors with 11 points apiece. 

Troy Fason had 11 points for the Terriers (5-3), while sophomore Oesoemana Sacko managed 10.  

Santa Margarita 75, Bishop O'Dowd 39

The Eagles (12-4), after an opening 43-38 loss to Mitty, has taken it out on their next two opponents, on Friday with a 36-drubbing against one of Northern California's most storied programs. Cameron McNamee, a 6-5 shooting guard, drilled six 3-pointers and had 24 points while Brayden Kyman, a 6-8 sophomore, made five 3s of his own and had a game-high 25 points. The duo outscored O'Dowd on their own. No one scored more than six for the Dragons, who dropped to 6-4. 

Santa Margarita was coming off a 75-59 win over Waxahachie. O'Dowd defeated Good Counsel (Olney, Md) 72-50 Thursday after opening the tournament with a 86-75 loss to Carlsbad. 

Torrey PInes 65, St. Edward (Ohio) 64 (4Q)

Max Zylicz (18 points), Cody Shen (15), Zach Jackson (14) and Tevaris Green (10) led the way for the Falcons, who overcame a furious late rally by the Eagles, who scored eight points in the final 30 seconds to make it tight. 

Anthony Kulacz (17 points) helped St. Edward make a game of it after trailing by 12 twice in the fourth quarter. Rickey Bussey and Brian Sullivan combined for 23 points for St. Edward, which dropped to 5-3. The Falcons, who Thursday beat O'Dea 71-54 after dropping a first-round game to JSerra Catholic (72-45), improved to 12-3.  

Torrey Pines raced to a 19-11 lead after one, but St. Edward slowly chipped away. 

Waxahachie (Texas) 61, Good Counsel (Md.) 57

Parker Jefferson exploded for 26 points and Trae Nunn added 18 as the Indians (9-8) won a back-and-forth thriller. Waxahachie, which dropped earlier games to California squads Montgomery (49-37) and Santa Margarita (75-59), took a nine-point first-quarter lead, dropped behind by seven midway through the second before the game completely evened out. 

Back-to-back buckets from Isayah Pankey and Jefferson put the Indians up for good 54-53 midway through the fourth. Nunn followed with another deuce to go up 56-53. Good Counsel twice cut the lead to one, but a free throw by Jeremiah Rucker and another basket by Nunn sealed the win. 

Israel Tchoubfong had 14 points and Justin Bumbray 10 for Good Counsel (3-11). 

St. Francis Episcopal (Texas) 65, O'Dea-Seattle 55

In the first game of Day 3 at Torrey Pines High School, John Laboy led four players in double figures with 16 points for sleepy St. Francis Episcopal, which overcame a 32-20 halftime deficit to outscore O'Dea 45-23 in the second half. Eren Ozcelik had 13 points and Christian Hodge and Nigel Walls contributed 10 points apiece for the winners, which had lost two previous tournament games by a total of four points. SFE is now 13-9 (yes, Texas starts playing early). Brian Webster had 14 points and Breylon Webb 13 for O'Dea (6-5).



(Following games at Torrey Pines HS)

O’Dea (WA) vs. St. Francis Episcopal (TX), 9:30 a.m.

Our Lady of Good Counsel (MD) vs. Waxahachie (TX), 11:05 a.m.

Torrey Pines vs. St. Edward (OH), 12:40 p.m.

Bishop O’Dowd vs. Santa Margarita, 2:15 p.m.

St. Francis Prep (NY) vs. JSerra, 3:50 p.m.

Montgomery vs. St. Mary’s (AZ), 5:25 p.m.


Faith Family Academy (TX) vs. St. Augustine, 7:00 p.m.

Carlsbad vs. Archbishop Mitty, 8:35 p.m.

(Feature photo by Justin Fine)