Foothills Christian, No. 1 in the first Union-Tribune basketball poll, was 4-0 before being savaged by a piranha-like attack from the Chino Hills Huskies in finals of the Battle Zone Tournament at Corona Centennial Saturday night.
Final score, 106-86.
Foothills’ T.J. Leaf scored 44 points and was 21 for 27 from the field, but the Knights were swamped at the outset by a withering, all-court press and trailed, 22-5, in the first four minutes.
It was 40-13, at the end of the first quarter.
The El Cajon squad actually outscored the Chino Hills, 73-66, over the last three quarters, but it never really was in it, getting no closer than 18 points at 67-49.
The Huskies, aggressively rebounding at both ends of the court, answered any attempted Foothills incursion with breakaways or some sharp three-point sniping.
Foothills Christian won its first four Battle Zone games, defeating Temecula Great Oak, 84-42, Etiwanda, 73-43, Corona Centennial, 69-61, and Temecula Rancho Christian, 96-58.
The Knights will get another chance at Chino Hills, Max Preps‘ state No. 3-ranked team when they meet Jan. 9 in the Sierra Canyon Super Showcase in Chatsworth.
Second-ranked Cathedral opens the season Thursday against San Francisco St. Ignatius in the Father Barry Tournament hosted by Carmichael Jesuit.
No. 3 St. Augustine is 4-0 after winning the Pasadena Rose City Classic at Maranatha Christian with a 52-50 victory over Montebello Cantwell Sacred Heart.
The Saints’ other tournament victories were 52-50 over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 58-47 over Pomona Diamond Ranch, and 62-42 over Valencia West Ranch.
Rank (1st place votes in parenthesis)/Team/’14-15 Record/Points/Last Year
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1. Foothills Christian (8)/ 24-8/ 96 / 1
2. Cathedral Catholic (1)/ 17-9/ 85 / NR
3. St. Augustine/ 25-7/ 84 / 2
4. El Camino (1) / 20-6/ 54/ 9
5. Torrey Pines / 31-4/ 49/ 3
6. Army-Navy/26-7/ 45/6
7. Escondido/23-7/34 /4
8. San Marcos / 26-4/ 26 / 7
9. Grossmont/ 22-5/ 18/ NR
10. Mission Bay/21-5/ 17/ 10
Points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis Others receiving votes: Francis Parker (13 points, 19-8), La Costa Canyon (11 points, 24-8), Kearny (10 points, 23-9), Valhalla (6 points, 22-10), San Ysidro (2 points, 16-13), La Jolla Country Day (1 point, 13-18).
Ten sportswriters, sportscasters and CIF representatives from throughout the county vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei (San Diego Union-Tribune), Steve Brand, Terry Monahan, Jim Lindgren (San Diego Union-Tribune correspondents), Bill Dickens, Adam Paul (EastCountySports.com), Rick Willis (KUSI-TV), Rick Smith (Partletonsports.com), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Lisa Lane (San Diego Preps Insider), Aaron Burgin (fulltimehoops.com).