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SCCS advances to first CIF hoops final

Posted: February 28, 2014 11:19 p.m.
Updated: February 28, 2014 11:19 p.m.

Santa Clarita Christian senior Phillip Webb, left, looks for room to drive on Friday night at Capistrano Valley Christian School.

 

At this point in the playoffs, nothing comes easy.

But by now, the Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals boys basketball team knows that.

SCCS overcame a hostile away crowd and late foul trouble to hold off the Capistrano Valley Christian Eagles of San Juan Capistrano 52-45 on Friday night in a CIF-Southern Section Division VA semifinal game.

The win puts SCCS in its first CIF championship game in school history. Prior to Friday night, the Cardinals (20-5) had yet to appear in a semifinal game.

“I’m just so happy for the guys,” said SCCS head coach James Mosley. “They were working so hard. I just really wanted to get this blessing for them.”

This has already been a season of major accomplishments for the Cardinals, who won their first league title since 2003 by claiming a Heritage League crown.

Friday was the team’s first semifinal game and now SCCS has a chance to bring home its first CIF basketball championship.

That game will be played on March 7 or 8 at a site that will be announced next week.

SCCS will face the winner of Saturday’s game between Renaissance Academy and Orangewood Academy.

It was a challenge to get to this point for the Cardinals, who got through their previous two playoff games with relative ease.

On Friday, in gym packed with fans who sat within inches of the court at some spots, SCCS held strong and led nearly the entire game.

Phillip Webb led SCCS with 14 points and 15 rebounds and he played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls.

His teammates Masyn Parker and Kamron Carroll also had four fouls early in the fourth, which created a delicate situation for the Cardinals’ player rotation.

But even with Carroll fouling out with more than four minutes to play, SCCS didn’t blink.

“You’re not going to get to a championship or win a championship without going through a dogfight,” Mosley said.

Carroll finished with 11 points and five assists and fellow Cardinals guard Cameron Lewis added eight points while also playing stellar defense.

SCCS big man Chris Collins also played stout defense while adding seven points and 10 rebounds.

After Carroll left the game, Alik Airapetyan stepped in at point guard down the stretch and ended up making two key free throws in the final minute to keep Capistrano Valley (16-12) out of reach.

“It was really a team effort,” Mosley said. “We had to play nine guys and they just kept playing and our defense is really what won the game for us.”

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