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SCCS boys basketbal: Cardinals’ final push

Cotterell scores 36 points to lead SCCS over a Heritage League top team

Posted: February 4, 2010 10:52 p.m.
Updated: February 5, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian's Davion Cotterell (10) goes up for a basket between Milken defenders Danny Reboh (3) and Alex Nourian, right, at Santa Clarita Christian on Thursday. Arye Lavin (25) trails the play.

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Riding a three-game winning streak and only one game out of first place in the Heritage League, Santa Clarita Christian boys basketball faced a must-win situation if the team hopes to raise a league championship plaque at the end of the season.

In its way was Milken Community High School of Los Angeles, which came into Thursday's contest tied with Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills for the league's top spot.

The Cardinals responded with an emphatic 75-48 win over the Wildcats, thanks to 36 points from Davion Cotterell and 32-point third quarter at Santa Clarita Christian School.

"They are a big barometer in the Heritage League," said SCCS head coach James Mosley of the Wildcats.

Cotterell also drained five 3-pointers and punctuated the win with a dramatic dunk midway through the fourth quarter, which put the Cardinals (15-5, 6-2) up 62-44.

"We picked up on defense, and that puts pressure to where the offense naturally flows," Cotterell said.

In the first half, Cotterell and teammate Brett Ranhofer hit from the outside and consistently cut to the basket.
They were countered by the efforts of Wildcat J.J. Friedman.

Friedman single-handedly kept Milken (12-8, 6-2) in the game, scoring 11 points in the first eight minutes.

In the second quarter, Wildcats forward Arye Lavin carried the torch, scoring 10 points to help build a 29-25 lead.
Then the Cardinals blew the game wide open.

"They came out after half, and James made some great adjustments," said Wildcats head coach Mike Whiting. "I think their kids just played harder."

With the offense running from the high post and a renewed emphasis on defense, Cotterell scored 13 points in the defining third quarter, while teammate Luke Asher added eight points. Asher finished with 10 points on the night.

The pressure of SCCS kept Milken from regrouping, as Cotterell and fellow Cardinal Adrian Mosley took steals in transition for easy layups.

Going into the fourth quarter, SCCS appeared firmly in control with a 46-33 lead.

"Really, our defense led to offense," said Ranhofer.

In the final frame, the Cardinals continued their defensive push, and they closed out Milken with continued accuracy from beyond the arc.

SCCS' success from the field came at no surprise for James Mosley, who said his players "spend hours working on their shot."

The Cardinals made 11 3-pointers to Milken's two.

With two more league games left, SCCS has a chance to play for the league title in its season finale, when its hosts Hillcrest Christian on Feb. 11.


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