Trinity Classical Academy girls basketball beat Santa Clarita Christian School behind a complete team effort on Tuesday at Santa Clarita Christian.
Throughout the game, the Knights were instinctive on defense and calculated on offense to beat the Cardinals 37-16.
Trinity (3-5 overall, 2-0 in Heritage League) set the tempo early, establishing dominance in the paint by boxing out, aggressively grabbing rebounds and snatching the ball from out of the air on multiple steals. The team’s efforts held SCCS scoreless throughout the first half.
“It was a mentally tough game so we’re trying to stay in the zone, not get too psyched out because they’re our rivals, not trying to get down, trying to win the game,” said Knights point guard Trinity Towns.
Towns had a game-high 10 points. She wasn’t shy about sharing the ball, either, as six of nine Trinity players appeared on the stat sheet on the evening.
“First we had to get our girls comfortable even shooting the ball and now that they’re confident enough to shoot it,” said Knights coach Daniel Hebert. “They trust each other and it’s really their trust in each other that allows them to swing it and get the next pass and then now there’s an open shot.”
Although the Cards (5-6, 1-1) weren’t able to put any points on the board in the first half, it wasn’t for lack of effort. They were able to drive to the net and had opportunities on free throws, but the shots just weren’t falling.
SCCS was able to score their first points of the evening in the third quarter, making three free throws and one layup to make it 30-5 by the end of the frame.
They were also able to force the Knights to run out the shot clock on several occasions in the third.
It was difficult to hold Towns back, though, as she consistently bypassed defenders on coast-to-coast drives to create scoring lanes. With 6:30 left in the game, Towns passed to Heidi Schaeffer who went in for an uncontested layup, then Towns went in for two points of her own 15 seconds later.
“I try to walk down the court, see my options, where I can pass it to and if I see an open lane, I just go for it,” she said. “I close my eyes, I hope for the best and I just go for the layup and I try to also get other people open who haven’t shot as much.”
The Cardinals took advantage of free throw opportunities in the fourth quarter to pick up five more points. Kelly Lotz added four additional points and Ella Bank added two points as SCCS was able to hustle and score seven points within the last minute of play.
Hebert credited a tough preleague slate for their early success in Heritage League play. The Knights played in two tournaments that included the likes of St. Bonaventure and San Marcos, both CIF-Southern Section Division 3A teams. Trinity is in Division 5A.
“We really got to work some things out against those bigger schools and in the hopes that it would prepare us for league,” Hebert said. “And last night and then tonight the girls have really seen that it’s working.”
Trinity next plays at Milken on Dec. 19. SCCS will be at Nordhoff on Dec. 15.