The Trinity Classical Academy boys basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak, beating Lancaster Baptist 59-34 in a Heritage League matchup at Rio Del Norte Junior High on Thursday.
“We had a good opportunity to get some of our role players some more minutes,” said Trinity head coach Aaron Southwick. “We didn’t miss a beat competitively, so I was happy about that. We have to get better at executing on defense especially, but I’m excited about the progress and where we are at right now.”
Beginning the contest on a 9-0 run, the Knights caught the Eagles off guard and their coach called a 30-second timeout to try and stop the bleeding.
It didn’t work.
Trinity (12-5 overall, 6-3 Heritage League) took early control and never relinquished the lead from start to finish as they were able to do it from inside and outside the paint.
Kyle Fields found his rhythm early and led the team in scoring with 16 points, hitting three 3-pointers in the first half.
The Knights big man Will Yumbar established his dominance in the post using his 6-foot-5 frame to grab rebounds and easy put-backs to finish with 11 points.
“He did a great job getting points for us and finishing around the rim,” Southwick said. “He’s been doing that consistently for us all season.”
John Cervantes-King, who has been sick, returned to the team healthy and chipped in with 10 points.
Defensively, the Knights showed glimpses of elite team defense by rotating and forcing Lancaster Baptist (3-11, 1-9) into uncomfortable situations that led to bad shots.
“When we executed, we did a good job of forcing them into gap-help and then we did a good job of rotation,” Southwick said. “I think there were some moments where we forced Lancaster (Baptist) into a situation where they didn’t want to be in or take shots that they didn’t want to take and some of them went in.
“We just need to continue to get better at executing that and playing that kind of defense for 32 minutes because we are certainly going to need that moving forward.”
With the lead in hand, Trinity found itself pushing the ball up quicker as sophomore guard Nathan Thomas did a good job of getting into transition and distributing the ball to his teammates for easy buckets.
“We have been working on our early offense a little more, so I was pleased when we wanted to push the ball early in transition,” Southwick said. “In general, we did a good job when we wanted to push the pace.“
The two teams play the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow at Lancaster Baptist at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the team has their Senior Recognition Night as they play Palmdale Aerospace at 7:30 p.m. at Valencia High School.