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Prep boys hoops: Cards cash in

SCCS takes advantage of size, athleticism in victory

Posted: January 11, 2013 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 11, 2013 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian guard Larue Nixon (10) shoots over Vasquez's Bobby Aguilar on Thursday at SCCS.

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Santa Clarita Christian School’s boys basketball team utilized its athleticism to go over and around an overmatched Vasquez squad 66-42 on Thursday night at SCCS.

“All year we’ve made our size a point of emphasis,” said Cardinals head coach James Mosley. “We understand that we have to get the ball inside, or at least be in good position for rebounds, because sometimes an offensive putback is our best option anyway.”

Mosley’s team had no issues in executing that gameplan on Thursday, especially in the opening stages of the game when Cardinals sophomore center Christopher Collins scored eight early points.

The Mustangs made it a point to throw multiple defenders at Collins and Phillip Webb, SCCS’s other lanky forward, but the Cardinals were simply just too tall.

“Quite honestly, everybody we’ve played has been taller than us,” said Vasquez head coach Karl Koch. “We’ve got a lot of good ball players on this team. We just didn’t make our shots tonight.”

Vasquez’s inability to convert offensively added an extra weight for Mustangs senior guard, and pure scorer, Nick Martini to carry.

Martini was often the subject of intense defensive pressure, and due to Vasquez’s inability to cash in quality opportunities, that pressure didn’t subside at any point during the game.

Nonetheless, Martini managed to score 25 points, with an 11-point effort in the third quarter, where the Mustangs (4-10) attempted to overcome a 25-17 halftime deficit.

Unfortunately for Vasquez, SCCS senior guard Larue Nixon matched Martini point for point.

“I know Nick from last year,” Nixon said. “He’s very well rounded, and he’s hard to guard so I just did the best job I could going up against him.”

After a spotty first half, Nixon scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and seemed to crush potential Mustangs runs time and time again.

“He’s a good player, be sure to mention that,” Koch said. “We needed to take more charges against him, and because we didn’t he made us pay.”

Nixon’s big second half opened things up for Webb as well, who seemed to find his comfort zone once the Mustangs defense began to give a larger portion of its attention to Nixon.

Webb scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, with SCCS outscoring Vasquez 23-11 in the final quarter to make an otherwise hard-fought contest seem less dramatic.

The win moves the Cardinals to 6-4 on the season, but more importantly provides the talented team with some confidence heading into Heritage League play, where it will look to register wins with more consistency.

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