Paris Atchley is not a starter, but you won’t hear her complaining about that.
“Absolutely not,” said the La Jolla Country Day sophomore, who came off the bench to score eight straight points and turn a five-point game into one in which the host Torreys took control and cruised to a 50-30 victory over scrappy Cathedral Catholic.
With the victory — the team’s fifth in a row — top-seeded LJCD (19-7) moves into Wednesday’s Open Division semifinals against Mission Hills at home.
For a long time it looked like the Torreys might get ousted early as the Dons (19-10), behind Kaylee Stiffler, matched LJCD point for point.
It was 26-21 when Atchley got the ball on the wing and hesitated — then poured in the long trey.
Seconds later she added a two before burying another shot from well beyond the arc and suddenly the Torreys were in control, 34-21.
“I had the open shot so I just decided to take it,” said Atchley. “That’s my role — to score for the team. On this team, I’ll do whatever it takes. Starting isn’t important to me.”
The Torreys were lethargic throughout the first half when Stiffler scored 13 of her team’s 19 points and was clearly the best player on the court. Additionally, the taller Dons were controlling the boards, giving LJCD just one shot.
LJCD coach Terri Bamford called for her club to double-team Stiffler, a 5-11 junior, and she was limited to three free throws after intermission. Equally impressive, 6-2 sophomore Mazatlan Harris, who came in averaging 15.1 points and 11.8 rebounds, was held scoreless and to eight boards.
Atchley said LJCD’s slow start was because the team hadn’t played in two weeks and practice can go just so far.
“Once we got control of the game, we were fine,” said the super sub as the Torreys outscored the visitors 27-11 in the second half.
La Jolla Country Day’s Kiera Oakry led all scorers with 13 points. Teammate Kendall Ellenbeck chipped in 10 rebounds.
Brand is a freelance writer.
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