Girls that were expected to perform came through with flying colors on the opening day of the 28th Annual San Diego Classic.
When St. Mary’s (Stockton) head coach Tom Gonsalves said the 10th Annual Girls of Summer caravan wouldn’t be disappointed with the performance of incoming freshman Aquira DeCosta, he was right on the mark.
The 6-foot-1 DeCosta had 13 points, seven rebounds, four steals and four blocks in a 55-26 win over Arroyo Grande. She still has work to do on her decision making and her overall finishing around the basket, but the left-hander is extremely athletic for her age, plays under control, works hard every minute she’s in the game, and her no touch-down put-back was the icing on the cake.
Less then 10 years ago, not even the top big girls could make the no touch-down move but not surprisingly DeCosta mastered the move a while back.
“I’ve been practicing that move since I was in the sixth grade,” the soft-spoken youngster told Cal-Hi Sports.
St. Mary’s also got 11 points on three three-pointers in limited action from incoming junior sharpshooter Kat Tudor, and a solid all-around performance from another incoming junior Micole Cayton. She finished with seven points and four steals.
At this stage of her career, DeCosta has been compared to two Ms. Basketball State Players of the Year from St. Mary’s by Gonsalves, Jackie Gemelos and Chelsea Gray.
Bishop’s of La Jolla was pretty icy except for State Freshman of the Year Destiny Littleton. The solidly built 5-9 guard who is catching the eye of the nation’s top colleges finished with 28 points, six rebounds, six steals and two assists in a 44-33 win over Temecula Chaparral.
Another local team, La Jolla Country Day, looked very good in a 50-29 victory over Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates. All State honoree Mai-Loni Henson turned in a very solid performance. The 6-foot incoming junior led the way with 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Clovis West (Fresno), playing without star incoming junior Aysha Kirkland, took on an Alhambra Mark Keppel team playing without 2015 star point guard Lauren Sakai.
Clovis West bolted out to a 20-4 halftime lead and then had to hold on for a 35-32 victory.
“We just stopped playing to win and started playing not to lose,” said Clovis West head coach Craig Campbell.
Incoming junior Ashley Cross led the way with 12 points while Bre’yanna Sanders (2015) controlled the paint and finished with eight points and 12 rebounds.
Sakai told Cal-Hi Sports the left knee she injured is feeling good and she will be ready for her senior season. Kirkland, who tore an ACL two weeks ago, will be out for the season.
Besides the big name teams that advanced, three teams from Torrance moved on to the second round as winners. North Torrance was a winner over Riverside M.L. King, South Torrance was a 61-51 winner over Placentia El Dorado, and West Torrance was a winner in a slight upset with a 36-33 victory over Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
For complete results and brackets for the San Diego Classic go to www.SanDiegoClassic.com.