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Trinity and Desert Chapel ready for CIF championship

Posted: March 6, 2014 10:53 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2014 10:53 p.m.

Trinity's Michael Mateo, center, is one of five Knights players who averages at least 8.3 points per game. His team plays Desert Chapel on Saturday in the Div. VI title game.

 

Trinity Classical Academy boys basketball and Desert Chapel of Palm Springs are both very direct in what they have to do on Saturday to become the next CIF-Southern Section Division VI champion.

“Defensive pressure, and I think that will do it. And we play pressure defense,” said Trinity Knights head coach John Brooks.

“We have to run. We’re going to have to run and make those shots other teams miss,” said Desert Chapel Eagles head coach Alfonso Alvarez.

There are no secrets in Saturday’s 11:15 a.m. Division VI championship game at Godinez High in Santa Ana.
In fact, Alvarez says this is a game two years in the making.

“We’ve been planning on playing Trinity for two years now,” Alvarez said. “Last year we were in the semifinals and getting prepared for Trinity, but lost to Rio Hondo. It’s been a long time planning and preparing for Trinity.”

This was the same Rio Hondo Prep team that then beat the Knights in last season’s Division VI title game 47-40 — preventing Trinity from winning its first-ever CIF title.

Which leads to another interesting subplot.

Trinity football became the school’s first CIF champion when it beat Joshua Springs in the 8-Man Division II title game Nov. 30.

The Knights beat Desert Chapel in the semifinals.

“Yes. Yes. Yes. They’ve been hungry for this team,” Alvarez said.

Subplots aside, this is a matchup between the No. 1 team in the division (Trinity) and No. 2 team (Desert).
Trinity is extremely battle-tested, having loaded up its schedule to play against teams in stronger divisions, including Foothill League playoff teams Canyon (Division IIA) and Valencia (Division IAA).

After that Valencia game, Trinity made a significant lineup move, shifting 6-foot-4-inch wingman Ryan Brooks to the point guard position to give the Knights a taller ball handler who could handle pressure better.

The Knights have been a balanced scoring team with five players averaging between 8.3 points per game and 12.3 — Michael Mateo, Ian Caddow, Josh Mumper, Brooks and Spencer Klehn.

Desert is led by the big three — the school’s all-time leading scorer Taner Alvarez (21.8 ppg), point guard Jaleel Miles (21.0) and 6-foot-4-inch, 235-pound center Roman Pellum (20.9 ppg).

Miles will drive and kick to the jump shooting Alvarez and Pellum will score inside.

Alfonso Alvarez said, though, teams can’t forget the rest of his players.

For Trinity, the game could boil down to limiting the Eagles’ potent offense.

If that happens, the Knights will do what many expected them to do at the beginning of the season — win a CIF title.

cosborne
@signalscv.com
661-287-5529

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