The team prepared all week for the America's Finest City Invitational, a prestigious and extremely high-level tournament featuring some of the best teams in the state. After a full slate of practices from Monday-Thursday, a varsity squad of 18 boys traveled to Rancho Bernardo HS to kick off the AFC's group stage on Friday afternoon.
Seeded 23rd overall and 6th in their group, TPHS would face Palos Verdes in the opening game. The Falcons took an early lead in the first quarter with outside shooting. TPHS maintained control through the second quarter, limiting PV's counterattack, but a crucial two-goal swing in PV's favor in the last minute of the half was an ominous sign as TP was down 6-5. Coming off the half, the Falcons were demoralized and gave up easy counterattack goals that saw them fall even more behind, and they could not recover as they suffered a 13-8 defeat.
Friday's second game would be against Oaks Christian from the Thousands Oaks area. It was a close game throughout, but the Falcons always struck first with a strong counterattack. Leading 8-5 at the break, the Falcon offense stalled in the third quarter and allowed Oaks Christian to tie the game at 8. However, Trevor Colbert scored a critical goal that gave the Falcons a lead, hole set Jacob Roll scored an insurance goal with 0.65 seconds left, and TPHS played stifling defense to ride out an 11-9 win.
Saturday's three games would be played at La Jolla HS Coggan Pool based on Friday's results. The first game was against Fountain Valley of Orange County, and TPHS was overpowered in a 13-5 defeat. The second game was against Lodi which is north of Stockton. Lodi played well and took control of the game in the third period, sending the Falcons to an 11-5 loss. The final game of the tournament was against local league rival Poway. TPHS dominated the game throughout with perimeter shooting and solid defense. The Falcons led 5-2 at half and finished up with a well-deserved 10-4 victory.
The Falcons played five games in two days, finishing with a 2-3 record and a 23rd place finish. It was a great learning experience for everyone to play some good out of the area teams.
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