After beating Rubidoux 83-23 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AAA tournament, Noah Veluzat had one thing to say: “Shout out Taylor Swift.” The Cardinals have been blasting the pop star’s songs in the locker room throughout the year to get them pumped up for games. “We all sing along,” Veluzat said. “End Game. Love Story. All of the songs.” Despite being ten days removed from its last game due to a first-round bye, SCCS didn’t skip a beat against the Falcons at The Master’s University on Friday. The Cardinals, who finished first in the Heritage League, opened up the game with a 17-0 run, not allowing the Falcons (12-17) a basket until less than four minutes remained in the first quarter. “We just didn’t want to give anything up easily,” said coach James Mosley. “We just want to make sure that we’re working hard. We just worked so hard defensively every day in practice. We just wanted to keep building on that.” Veluzat, who was equally capable defensively, drained five 3-pointers in the first half alone – many of which were shot from well beyond the arc. “(I’m) just a true point guard that can shoot,” he said. “It comes back to thousands of shots a day. Just working and working and working.” Molsey concurred. “He was huge,” said the coach. “He just earns his ay on the floor because in practice he does everything we ask him to do.”
The Cards (17-9) mounted a 45-11 lead by halftime. With a little over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, SCCS made a wholesale change that got a handful of young talent some playing time. Wyatt Kennedy, a sophomore, hit a flawless trey to add icing to the cake. Veluzat led the team in terms of scoring with 24 points. Jordan Starr was next with 16 and tacked on 11 assists. Kevin Stone added 13 points. “A win like this sends a message to all the other teams that we’re not playing around we’re here to win this title.” SCCS will next play La Quinta of Westminster in the third round of the tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 20.