An SCCS boys basketball team chock full of transfers had its first organized scrimmage of the season cut short Tuesday.
The Cardinals were hosting Highland, which left the court in the middle of the third quarter, though no score was being kept and the team’s were running 10-minute quarters.
One of SCCS’ five incoming transfers, sophomore Kaleb Lowery, fouled a Highland player attempting a layup off the right side, resulting in the Highland player hitting the deck. Moments later, the Highland coaches escorted their team off the court.
“They said they were worrying about their players’ safety,” said SCCS coach James Mosley. “We’re always worried about our players’ safety. It was a physical game the entire time but that’s their decision.”
To Mosley’s point, protruding elbows while running through screens and boxing out were common throughout the abbreviated scrimmage. There had also been several dust-ups after fouls between the two teams prior to Highland exiting the court.
Highland’s departure cast a cloud over the debut of Lowery, along with Caden and Jordan Starr and Ty Penberthy. The Starr brothers are the sons of The Master’s University men’s basketball coach Kelvin Starr. Penberthy is the son of former TMU star and Lakers point guard, Mike Penberthy.
Lowery is the son of TMU men’s basketball assistant Thomas Lowery. His brother K.J. , a 6-foot-7 senior, didn’t play Tuesday while nursing a knee injury.
The new ensemble struggled out of the gates, trailing 31-20 after the first two quarters.
“The good thing is, I think you have their attention when they struggle a little bit,” Mosley said. “They know it’s not going to be easy.”
The Cardinals responded by jumping out to a 12-5 lead in the third quarter before the game came to a halt. They employed a lineup that included both Starr brothers, Lowery, Penberthy and Justin Collins, an All-SCV honorable mention last season, to help build that lead.
With that lineup, the Cardinals possess not only the tallest but possibly most talented group in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Mosley has taken advantage of the talent wave by entering the team in the Battle Zone Tournament at Centennial starting Monday and the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, starting Dec. 26.
Both tournaments host some of the best programs in Southern California, with the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic drawing elite teams from all over the country.
“We haven’t always had this opportunity and we’re excited to have a chance to play in some big-time tournaments,” Mosley said. “ … For us right now, it’s about defining roles and seeing how we can come together.”
SCCS will play Mission Bay of San Diego to open the Battle Zone Tournament next Monday.