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Trinity knocked out of CIF state playoffs

Posted: March 15, 2014 10:57 p.m.
Updated: March 15, 2014 10:57 p.m.

Trinity Classical Academy's Andrew Pabalan (1) shoots against Renaissance Academy defenders Martynus Gaizauskas (10) and KJ Okmanas (1) at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School in Burbank on Saturday.

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BURBANK — Last week, the Renaissance Academy Wildcats of Altadena ended the championship hopes of one Santa Clarita Valley high school.

And this week, Renaissance added to its list of postseason wins against high schools from the SCV.

Behind tenacious defense and overwhelming size, the No. 1 seeded Wildcats defeated the No. 8 seed Trinity Classical Academy Knights 60-33 in the second round of the CIF State Boys Basketball Division V playoffs Saturday at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School.

“To beat a team like that, everything has to go the right way with you,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “We played well, but not the perfect game we would need to play to beat a team like Renaissance Academy.”

On March 8, the Wildcats (22-7) beat Santa Clarita Christian School 58-32 in the CIF-Southern Section Division VA championship.

Against Trinity (19-9), Renaissance ran away from the CIF-SS Div. VI champs in the second half.

Leading 21-14 at halftime, the Wildcats outscored the Knights 39-19 over the final two quarters.

“Stay to course,” said Renaissance head coach Sid Cooke on the message to his team at halftime. “Hang in there and stick to the game plan. Keep the pressure on and execute.”

Renaissance’s size and pressure on defense forced Trinity into tough shots throughout.

The Knights finished 10-for-41 from the floor, while the Wildcats shot 22-for-48, including 15-for-26 in the second half.

Junior Colton Oshiro and sophomore Michael Mateo co-led the Knights with six points apiece.

Sophomore Josh Mumper scored five points for Trinity.

Renaissance junior guard Marquise Mosley led all scorers with 14 points, while 6-foot-6-inch senior power forward Steve Herve chipped in with 13 points.

Also standing at 6-foot-6, senior Marty Gaizauskas added 10 points for Renaissance.

But even though the Wildcats were bigger and began to pull away in the third quarter, Brooks was proud of his team’s ability to fight and never give up.

“We weren’t going to be an easy W for them,” Brooks said. “I think we accomplished that. The game was a 10-point game through the first three quarters, and our kids battled every minute till the end.”

That never-say-die attitude lifted Trinity to its first ever CIF-SS basketball championship in school history against Desert Chapel on March 8.

“This team is one of the hardest working teams I’ve been a part of,” said senior Spencer Klehn. “I love all of my teammates very deeply, and I’m very happy that we played the way we did this season and won a CIF championship.”

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