The Santa Clarita Christian School boys basketball team is small in roster size. It’s not a huge deal to them.
When it comes to being small in height, however, that’s where the Cards encounter some problems. Their tallest player measures in at 6-foot-4.
The team knows it can defend just as good as any other, but it’ll take effort from everyone on the court.
“In the past we’ve had a lot of size,” said 13-year coach James Mosley. “So this year we’ve had to box out and rebound by committee, which is going to be our battle throughout the course of the year. Protecting the defensive back boards and doing it as a group.”
The aforementioned 6-4 player, Josh Fehr, will be an anchor on defense while providing pressure on offense as well.
The plan is to spread out teams as much as possible to make plays and find open shooters.
A.J. Caldwell, the team’s emotional leader who was named All-Heritage League last season, will be carrying the load for shooting. Justin Collins, a sophomore point guard and excellent ball handler, will also be helping out.
“He’s someone that the SCV is going to know about in the next few years,” Caldwell said of Collins. “He still has a lot to learn, but in the next few years people are going to know about him. He’s in the classroom, he’s on the court, he’s doing what he can the right way.”
Also returning this season are Jacob Moss and Tyler Kalinske, who are both coming off of standout football seasons. The pair adds to the team’s defensive abilities and overall toughness, according to Mosley.
To back up the strong starters, the Cards are working on building up their skill off the bench to add more scoring options.
“We’re not a team to throw to the post or throw to a main guy,” Caldwell said. “We’re going to have a team effort. But you need to know who has the hot hand.”
SCCS’s confidence is boosted by last year’s semifinal appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5A tournament. They didn’t get the Heritage League crown, though, finishing second in league behind an undefeated Trinity Classical Academy team.
This year, the Cardinals are determined to get that first-place spot.
“You don’t know from year to year how things are going to work out,” Mosley said. “What I’ve seen from this team is they have a toughness where they don’t give up even with adversity, which is great to see early.”