SCCS girls basketball can’t handle the press in loss to Lancaster Baptist

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An already-abbreviated preleague season for the Santa Clarita Christian School girls basketball team grew even shorter due to the fires that ravaged Southern California in early December.

That led the Cardinals to having just four games under their belt when they entered Heritage League play last Friday — a loss to Faith Baptist — and the lack of floor time showed Monday against Lancaster Baptist.

SCCS simply had no answer for the Eagles’ full-court press, falling 39-22 at SCCS.

“We’ve probably played about half the games we were supposed to play at this point,” said SCCS coach Dennis Schwesinger. “Going into league with that many games, and we’re a young team to begin with, it’s a hard matchup.”

Schwesinger isn’t exaggerating about the youth of his team. The roster doesn’t include a senior and three freshmen are in the starting lineup. The young group also had a delayed start to the season due to the volleyball team advancing to the CIF State playoffs, where a chunk of the team’s players come from.

It had four games cancelled from the Milken Community Classic due to the fires as well.

Lancaster Baptist (5-2, 3-1 Heritage League) led 11-5 after the first quarter but then deployed its press entering the second quarter. The Cardinals struggled to muster any offense, going into the half trailing 18-8.

“They’re uncomfortable with the press still,” Schwesinger said. “Just adjusting to the game speed, that’s what we’re struggling with right now.”

Aaronya Crosswhite led the Cardinals with eight points. Crosswhite and Chloe Lehman, who had two points, are the only returnees who played in last year’s rotation. Cassie Fawsie was second on the Cardinals with six points.

“We’re just trying to get them at a point when we see these teams a second time we’ll be able to make it a lot more competitive,” Schwesinger said. “(Lancaster Baptist) is a strong, physical team, so it helps us to get some experience against that, which we need.”

SCCS (2-4, 0-2) continues league play on Jan. 19 as it’ll host Palmdale Aerospace Academy, which is also seeking its first league win through three games.

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