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Trinity, SCCS hoops rivalry continues on Saturday

Trinity's Hannah Looney drives around the defense during a drill at practice at the Henry Mayo Health and Fitness Center in Valencia. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Rivalry dominance between Santa Clarita Christian basketball and Trinity basketball has switched hands.

On Saturday, the Cardinals defeated the Knights in both the boys and girls games, with scores of 63-59 and 38-23, respectively.

For the SCCS boys, it was the first win over Trinity since Feb. 7, 2014.

“Our kids were keyed up,” said SCCS boys coach James Mosley. “When it’s a rivalry game it’s going to be tough and kids get a little jittery, but we did a good job of coming out and imposing our will and they fought back and we held on to win.”

MORE: Cardinals boys hoops holds steady, wins by four

The Cards were undefeated in league at that point, and still are after Tuesday’s win against Faith Baptist.

AJ Caldwell has been the team’s motor, a shooting machine who on Tuesday scored 21 points against Faith Baptist.

“Our focus is on AJ,” said Trinity coach Tod Bernard. “We want to be mindful of the other players that can play, but the guy that’s going to make the biggest difference is their shooter.”

Koby Schafer has been leading the Knights (7-14 overall, 2-4 in Heritage League) with 253 points this season, followed by Ryan DeMarois with 142.

Bernard also believes his team is stronger and more physical than SCCS (10-3 overall). One of the Cardinals’ most aggressive players, Justin Collins, is ready for it.

“My coach and my family have told me I need to develop that killer instinct,” Collins said after the game against Faith Baptist.

The SCCS girls’ win against Trinity was their first since Feb. 6, 2015.

“It was something that when we talked about at the beginning of the season,” said Cardinals coach Dennis Schwesinger. “One of their goals was to matchup better with Trinity or beat Trinity and they played a really good game.”

Aaronya Crosswhite had four 3-pointers for the Cards (8-3 overall, 3-2 in Heritage League) in the second half of that game.

MORE: SCCS girls hoops falls to Faith Baptist

She took Trinity by surprise, as the team was expecting a standout performance mostly from Payton Schwesinger.

Trinity’s Hannah Caddow has been key, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the team’s win over Guidance Charter on Tuesday. Taylor Oshiro had 15 points in the loss to Faith Baptist on Thursday.

But the Knights’ shooting percentage was unusually low against the Cardinals, something that could be attributed to the large turnout.

“I think (we need to be) able to overcome that and just focus on what we need to do,” said coach Daniel Hebert. “The past couple games, we’ve been making sure that we execute no matter what the circumstances are.”

The girls rematch will be Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at The Master’s University. The boys will play at 6 p.m. at TMU.

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