A night of comebacks for Trinity, SCCS hoops

SCCS's AJ Caldwell (20) loses the ball out of bounds while scrambling for a loose ball with Trinity's Caden Kulp in the second half Saturday at The Master's University. Photo by Tom Cruze/For The Signal

It was a night of comebacks.

Santa Clarita Christian boys hoops overcame an early 10-point deficit. Trinity Classical Academy girls hoops came back to the basics.

It made for a crosstown-rivalry split Saturday night at The Master’s University, the second meeting of the season between the Santa Clarita Valley’s Christian high schools.

The Trinity girls were coming off a harrowing loss to the Cardinals on Jan. 21 — harrowing in that the Knights made six of 49 shot attempts. Not a misprint.

Kayla Norton of SCCS, front, battles Hannah Caddow of Trinity for control of the ball during a basketball game at The Master’s University on Saturday. Photo by Tom Cruze/For The Signal

“It’s hard to win like that,” Trinity coach Daniel Hebert said Saturday night.

Leading up to the rematch, Hebert didn’t talk about the loss much with the team. Instead, he tried to refocus the Knights on why they play the game and what it takes to be successful.

“We just talked about what is success for us,” Hebert said. “… We just redefined success. To us, that definition is doing our best with our effort and attitude to glorify God.”

The Knights (10-8 overall, 2-4 in the Heritage League) spent most of Friday’s practice talking and “regathering” that identity. Then they put some shots up. Come Saturday, those shots fell in a 40-35 win.

Hebert felt it was as team-oriented a performance as the Knights have had.

Taylor Oshiro led the way, as usual, with 18 points and five rebounds.

Trinity’s Hannah Caddow had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Payton Schwesinger scored a team-high 11 points for SCCS (8-4, 3-3), which came in as the second-place team in the Heritage League behind only 6-0 Faith Baptist of Canoga Park.

Tyler Kalinske of SCCS, left, battles Peyton Frazier of Trinity for the ball in the first half Saturday at TMU. Photo by Tom Cruze/For the Signal

Aaronya Crosswhite had 10 points for the Cardinals.

Hannah Looney had seven points for Trinity, while teammate Kathryn Brooks added nine rebounds.

Trinity turned the ball over just nine times in all.

“I don’t think I’ve seen that at too many high school basketball games,” Hebert said.

How do the Knights carry over momentum from the win?

“If you asked me this a week ago, I’d say we have some momentum,” Hebert said. “(But) it’s not even (a matter of) momentum. It’s that we’re playing together again, looking like a team rather than all going out there by ourselves.”

SCCS was looking for the season sweep of Trinity. It didn’t happen for the girls, but it did for the Cardinal boys (12-3, 6-0 in Heritage).

SCCS fell behind by 10 early, clawed back to an even score at the half and then forced their way out front in the fourth quarter of a 51-46 win.

Cardinal Justin Collins was key.

The sophomore guard scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knights focused on slowing SCCS standout AJ Caldwell.

In one sense, Trinity was successful in that endeavor.

Caldwell scored only four points. But, he impacted the game in other ways.

“AJ did a good job of not forcing it,” said SCCS coach James Mosley. “Their defense keyed into him, and he did a good job of moving the ball, playing defense and doing the little things to help us win.”

Josh Fehr scored 13 points for SCCS, while teammate Tyler Kalinske added 12 points.

Ryan DeMarois led Trinity (7-16, 2-6) with 13 points.

SCCS beat Trinity 63-59 on Jan. 21. The Knights had beaten the Cardinals five straight times before this season. Eight of the teams’ last 11 meetings have been decided by five points or less.

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