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SCCS keeps historic season going with win

Posted: March 12, 2014 10:33 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2014 10:33 p.m.

Santa Clarita Christian's Alik Airapetyan, right, drives the ball past Kern Valley's Jordan Gould during Wednesday's CIF State tournament game at the Master's College

 

Santa Clarita Christian assistant coach Garrick Moss approached the scorers table about five minutes before his team was set to take on Kern Valley in the first round of the CIF State Division V Boys Basketball Tournament.

He wanted to make sure the announcers played his team’s introduction music at just the right time.

The Cardinals didn’t want to leave anything to chance in their first ever state tournament game.

That attention to detail was evident as they cruised to a 65-38 win over the visiting Broncs.

“We brought good energy in the second half,” said SCCS head coach James Mosley. “In the first half I thought guys were reaching and not moving our feet enough. We did a better job of moving our bodies in the second half.”

After taking a 31-24 lead into the half, the Cardinals (21-7) locked down on defense. They allowed only 14 points for the rest of the game. Alik Airapetyan and Kamron Carroll had six steals apiece for the Cardinals who had 19 total steals in the game.

“In practice, ever since the CIF game, coach has been telling us to run,” said Carroll. “We wanted to keep the pressure on them because defense wins championships.”

“I felt like in the championship game we didn’t play too much defense. So we stepped it up in practice and we got better.”

The Cardinals lost 58-32 in the CIF-Southern Section Division VA championship to Renaissance Academy on Saturday. That loss provided the defensive spark SCCS needed.

But when the Cardinals were forced to play a halfcourt game, they turned to their two big men, Phillip Webb and Chris Collins. The two combined for 22 points and 24 rebounds. Webb, along with his 14 points, had two steals and collected seven offensive rebounds.

They also kept the Broncs (15-12) out of the paint. Junior Dalton Gallis led Kern Valley with 16 points, relying heavily on his mid-range jumper.

“We were happy with the energy we brought out to start the game but we kind of ran out of gas,” said Broncs head coach Brian Christianson. “They did a very good job. They’re a very well-coached team.”

SCCS will keep adding to their already historic 21-win season when they travel to View Park at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is just a special group,” said Mosley. “I’m just happy for them and excited for the opportunity.”

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