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Lancers Reign: Duckett, Hall lead Carlsbad to Open title - A CIF Championship recap

The Carlsbad Lancers duo of Jake Hall and Tony Duckett have led the team to some firsts during the 2023-24 season: the program's first Section 7 championship, it's first National Division Championship at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic and the first title at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas.

On Saturday, the junior and senior guards led the team to one more first: Carlsbad's first Open Division championship.

Hall scored a team-high 19 points and Duckett added 18 as Carlsbad outlasted No. 3 seed Montgomery 56-47 in the title game of the top CIF Division.

Duckett got the Lancers off to a hot start, scoring 12 of his 18 in the first half, while Hall helped deliver the finishing touches to the game, knocking down two three pointers in the game's final two minutes to give the Lancers some breathing room.

But it wasn't easy.

Montgomery, which was playing without third leading scorer and All Mesa League guard Xair Mendez due to an ejection the previous game, and top reserve Xavier Guerrero (ankle), stayed close throughout the entire contest.

After Carlsbad took a 14-6 lead after one quarter, Montgomery's JJ and Alek Sanchez each hit a three to promptly cut the lead to 2 at 14-12. From there, Carlsbad never led by more than 9, and each time they did the Aztecs would respond with a run.

JJ Sanchez, the 6-5 junior who was Mesa League player of the year, was dominant, scoring a game-high 20 points and delivering clutch bucket after clutch bucket.

His final bit of heroics cut Carlsbad's lead to 48-45 with 3:39 in the 4th quarter and combined with Carlsbad's Jael Martin picking up his fifth foul (the Pepperdine commit finished with 6 points, but was saddled with foul trouble throughout), the Aztecs were feeling good about their chances.

That's when Hall struck, knocking down his first triple off of an assist from fellow junior Jett Kenady to push the lead back to 6. Following a defensive stand, the Lancers came down and Kenady once again found hall for a right corner triple to push the lead to 9 and end the Aztecs threat.

For Carlsbad, the championship marks their second title in four years, as they won the Division 1 crown in 2020. The Lancers will now move on to the CIF State Open Division bracket, where they received a No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 seed St. Pius X/ St. Matthias Academy in the CIF Southern Regional Open Division first round at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Montgomery received a No. 4 seed in the CIF State Division 1 Regional Bracket and will host No. 13 Redondo Union at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Mendez will be available for the Aztecs in that game.

In other CIF Divisions

Mission Bay dominates Scripps Ranch for D1 crown

The Mission Bay Buccaneers waited a year to avenge last year's loss in the D1 title game, and when they got the opportunity they weren't going to let it slip away.

Led by Charlie Hutchison's 19-point, 12-rebound effort, the Buccaneers dominated No. 8 seed Scripps Ranch en route to a 57-43 win at Otay Ranch High School.

The Bucs led by as many as 20 points and were never really threatened after taking a 25-16 halftime lead.

Falcons senior Kai Brown led all scorers with 25 points and did everything he could to keep his team in the ball game to no avail.

University City dominates top-seeded RBV to win the D2 title

The No. 3 seed Centurions completed their two-game sweep of Division 2's top two teams with a dominant 72-57 win over No. 1 seed RBV in the D2 title game at San Marcos High School.

Ash Aka and Dylan Griffin led the way with 25 and 24 points respectively for the Centurions, which won their first CIF championship in 13 years.

Olympian captures its first CIF title in school history

Olympian (28-3) entered the Division 3 playoffs as heavy favorites and left no doubt in the end, defeating No. 3 Monte Vista 50-36 at Clairemont High to capture the program's first ever championship.

The Eagles won its first three playoff games by 46, 27 and 17 points, respectively, before soundly defeating the Monarchs.

Freshman guard Tristan Anderson led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points, becoming the first player in Olympian history to score 500 points in a single season.

Mount Miguel rolls Southwest in D4 championship

In a game of No. 1 vs No. 2, it was the No. 2 seed that not only came out on top, but dominated.

Led by senior guard Thaddeus Boudreaux's unreal 26-point effort, the Matadors gashed top-seeded Southwest 70-48.

The Matadors got 17 points from fellow senior guard Mekhi Sidney, and held Southwest in check on the offensive end. Xavier Gonzalez led the Raiders with 20 points.

Ocean League dominates D5 levels: Del Lago Academy, Tri-City Christian win

League rivals Del Lago Academy and Tri-City Christian, the No. 2 seed in Division 5 and the top seed in Division 5-AA, respectively, handled business in their section title games.

The Firebirds defeated No. 1 seed Calipatria 59-43 in a game in which they led throughout. The Eagles did the same, jumping out to a 21-10 lead after one quarter en route to a 75-57 win over San Diego Jewish Academy, another Ocean League team.


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