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Trinity rises past CIF quarterfinals

Posted: February 25, 2014 11:00 p.m.
Updated: February 25, 2014 11:00 p.m.

Trinity's Ryan Brooks attempts a shot over Baptist Christian's defenders during a CIF playoff game on Tuesday night at Santa Clarita Christian School.


After winning by an average of 43 points, The Trinity Classical Academy Knights boys basketball team cruised past the first two rounds of the CIF-Southern Section Division VI playoffs.

But against the Baptist Christian Warriors of Hemet in the quarterfinals, the Knights were tested.

In a game that was closer than the final score let on, Trinity defeated the Warriors 76-45 on Tuesday night at Santa Clarita Christian School.

“I told (assistant) coach (Russell) Klehn when we were sitting there and up by 20, ‘This is the tightest 20-point game I have ever been involved in,’” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “The intensity was there on both sides.”

In the third quarter, following a 3-pointer by Trinity’s Josh Mumper to make the score 49-27, Baptist Christian’s Micah Anderson responded with 10 straight points to cut the lead to 49-37.

But Mumper answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the night to push the lead back up to 52-37, which was the score after three quarters of play.

“Just execute,” Brooks said on the message to his team while the Warriors began to chip away at the lead. “If we do what we do, and we execute, we’ll be fine.”

And just as their coach said, the Knights executed and pulled away from the oppositions as they outscored Baptist Christian 24-8 in the fourth quarter.

Four Knights finished with double-figure scoring outputs, as Mumper had 12 points, Spencer Klehn had a game-high 18 points, Michael Matteo dropped in 16 points and Ryan Brooks chipped in with 15 points.

“Everybody can guard anybody on the floor,” Klehn said regarding Trinity’s depth. “And (offensively), when player x isn’t doing so well, player y can step in and (fill the void).”

Anderson led the Warriors with 17 points.

Turnovers hurt the Warriors as they committed 30 in the game.

“Their defense and intensity really affected the game,” said Baptist Christian head coach Ryan Williams. “We lost to a better team, probably the most sound team we’ve seen all season. They’re going to go far in playoffs.”

The Knights reached the CIF-SS Div. VI championship last season, but lost to Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia 47-40.

But this season, it’s championship or bust for Trinity.

“I want to win,” Klehn said. “I don’t want to have that feeling of losing in the end again.”

In the semifinals, Trinity will play the winner of Laguna Blanca vs. Los Angeles Adventist on Friday night.


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