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Prep hoops: Cardinals show the upside

After slow start, SCCS talent comes alive

Posted: December 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian forward Phillip Webb (23) is fouled by Frazier Mountain's Robbie Stowell in the second half of Monday's game at The Master's College.

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For most of the first half, Santa Clarita Christian boys basketball showed how young it is.

After that, the team showed how good it can be.

The Cardinals surged late in the first half and didn’t look back in a 72-58 win over Frazier Mountain of Lebec on Monday at The Master’s College.

“We ran all the plays that we needed to run, and that’s it,” said SCCS forward Phillip Webb. “We were just trying to play good.”

Webb led all scorers with 27 points and added 16 rebounds just four days after his 36-point, 21-rebound performance in a win over California City.

The 6-foot-6 junior transferred from the Cayman Islands this year and is one of several new players to varsity this season.

He’s also one of the many players with tremendous upside.

“He’s getting more confident,” said SCCS head coach James Mosley of Webb. “He’s so good at so many things, especially at this level. We put a lot on his plate.”

Following Webb was senior Larue Nixon, who poured in 21 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals (5-3) trailed nearly the entire first half until closing out on an 8-0 run in the final 1:45 of the second quarter to take a 35-32 lead at the break.

That run extended to 14-0 and a 41-32 advantage through the opening three minutes of the second half as SCCS switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense that disrupted the small, but speedy Falcons (5-4).

“I think the defense created points for us and that was huge,” Mosley said.

With Webb scoring and  6-foot-5 Chris Collins defending the post,
Frazier Mountain had to rely heavily on outside shooting from speedy guards Ricky Rustic and Andrew Penner.

Penner led the Falcons with 21 points and Rustic ended with 18, but they didn’t do enough to stop the Cardinals from rebounding and scoring in the paint.

“We try to pound it inside and crash the boards as much as we can,” said Collins, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Frazier Mountain battled back to within a point at 47-46 late in the third quarter, but Nixon caught fire down the stretch and scored several fast-break baskets to help SCCS pull away.

The Cardinals face Albert Einstein Academy on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a rematch from an earlier season matchup on Nov. 29. SCCS won that game 60-55.

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