The CIF-SS title may have just been an appetizer for the Cardinals, though. They’ll enter the CIF State Division 5 tournament, which begins Wednesday, where they’ll again be contenders to meet towering expectations. “It means a lot,” said senior Jordan Starr, who transferred in from Village Christian, along with his brother Caden Starr, prior to this season. “We faced a lot of tough competition to start the season, a lot of tough losses, but we really came together down the stretch and took care of it.” The Cardinals put to bed any chances of an upset shortly after tip-off. They jumped out to a 13-0 lead and didn’t allow La Puente to score until nearly halfway through the first quarter.
Jordan Starr, Kaleb Lowery and Noah Veluzat discuss winning the CIF-SS Division 5AAA title. SCCS still has work to do in the CIF State tournament. pic.twitter.com/whZVtFwLUM— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) March 3, 2018
At the half, they led 36-11. “I would say the biggest thing today was defense,” said Kaleb Lowery, who had 15 points, 12 rebounds and led the team with four assists. “Coach (Mosley) really pressed down on that and that’s what got us out to the big lead.” Noah Veluzat led the Cards with 19 points and. The two connected on an alley-oop, finished off by Lowery with a one-handed dunk, to give the team a 53-13 lead with 2:47 to play in the third quarter.
Jordan Starr throws it down and SCCS pushes its lead to 26-9, 4:05 2Q. pic.twitter.com/HdSWVHlVdZ— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) March 3, 2018
“We had our low points (in the season),” said Veluzat. “But we stuck together and kept working hard every day in practice and now we’re here.” Ralphie Macias, who had 28 points in La Puente’s semifinal win, was held to a team-high nine points and went 4 of 19 from the field. The Warriors as a team shot 2 of 14 from behind the arc. “I felt like we could really be great defensively today,” Mosley said. “I felt all week that we wouldn’t lose as long as we were aggressive on that side of the ball.” MORE: SCCS heading to second-ever CIF-SS final after win over Bloomington Justin Collins was third on the Cardinals with 11 points. Jordan Starr finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists. Caden Starr matched Lowery with 12 rebounds to go with six points. It marked the third career CIF section title for Jordan Starr. He won two San Diego Section titles while playing for Foothills Christian alongside current Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Leaf. “It feels better this time because I was able to be the leader,” Starr said. “I wasn’t a role player this time. It was fun being a leader and in control.” The Cardinals were also able to get some floor-time for T.J. Lowery in the win. The senior, who transferred to SCCS with brother Kaleb Lowery from Foothills Christian prior to this season, played only a handful of minutes following a procedure to remove a bone cyst in his knee. T.J. Lowery played the final four minutes of the game and was 0 of 3 from the field. “He’s had a tough year but he’s served our team so well and has always been there,” Mosley said. “ … It’s so easy to root for him.”
Oh man, Kaleb Lowery with the alley-oop hammer courtesy of a Noah Veluzat dish. SCCS leads 53-13, 2:47 3Q. pic.twitter.com/wSJhj9i2uD— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) March 3, 2018