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Trinity earns spot back in CIF title game

Posted: February 28, 2014 11:11 p.m.
Updated: February 28, 2014 11:11 p.m.

Trinity Classical Academy's Michael Mateo, right, shoots against Laguna Blanca High defenders during the first half at Santa Clarita Christian School on Friday.

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Nothing was going to get in the way of the Trinity Classical Academy Knights boys basketball team against the Laguna Blanca Owls of Santa Barbara in the CIF-Southern Section Division VI semifinals.

Determined to get back to their second consecutive CIF championship game, the No. 1 seeded Knights defeated the Owls 59-38 in front of a raucous crowd Friday night at Santa Clarita Christian School.

“It’s hard to make it back,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “Coming in as the No. 1 seed, every game the other team wants to beat you. So it’s good to continue to win and be there.”

Last year, the Knights fell to Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia 47-40 in the finals.

This year, Trinity (17-8) will get a title shot against Desert Chapel of Palm Springs.

But to get into the championship game, the Knights had to take care of business against Laguna Blanca (17-8).

Coming off his 12-point, four 3-pointer performance against Baptist Christian in the quarterfinals, Knights sophomore guard Josh Mumper continued to knock it down from deep against the Owls.

Mumper finished with a game-high 19 points, including five makes from behind the arc.

“I have a lot of confidence right now,” Mumper said. “I just want to keep it rolling into the CIF (championship) game.”

Trinity opened the game on a 14-5 run and never looked back as it led 17-7 after one quarter, 32-19 at halftime and 45-25 at the end of three quarters.

Senior Spencer Klehn contributed eight of his 16 points in the first quarter, while sophomore Michael Mateo chipped in with nine points for the Knights.

Andrew Vignolo led Laguna Blanca with nine points.

Spenser Wyatt and Pierce O’Donnell each scored eight points for the Owls.

“We ran into a better team,” said Laguna Blanca head coach Sal Rodriguez. “They took us out of our offense, and they were really intense. I hope they win the CIF title next weekend because they’re an excellent team.”

Other than the fact that the CIF title will be the on the line, the matchup between Trinity and Desert Chapel has another interesting storyline.

The two schools met in the CIF-SS 8-man Division II semifinals on Nov. 22, 2013.

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