Transferring in from Moon Valley High School in Arizona at the beginning of the school year, it didn’t take long for Santa Clarita Christian School boys basketball player Ty Harper to make contributions to an already stacked Cardinals team.
SCCS began its season in the BattleZone Tournament and picked up wins against Temecula Valley, Foothills Christian and Rancho Christian, before falling in the title game to Sheldon.
Over the course of four games, Harper made his impact known often finishing with double-digit scoring in all four games, averaging 22 points per game, and scored a game-high 35 points in the win against Foothills Christian.
“I bring energy, really,” Harper said. “Just keep the energy up and keep everyone locked in and disciplined. Make sure I’m doing my job as a leader and as a point guard, making sure everything is in order, keep everyone competing and their heads up. If we are down by one and there are 10 seconds left or something, I’m going to stay confident and give you the ball. If you stay confident in your shot, I’m going to give you the ball and we do what we got to do.”
Before making his decision to attend SCCS, Harper says that he was already planning on moving to California and had a couple of choices.
“I believe I picked the best situation and the coaching that would best benefit me and my game,” Harper said. “I filled out the team, played well and everything. That’s how everything happened.”
A couple of games later, as the season progressed, Harper’s chemistry and game elevated as he scored more than half of the team’s points with a game-high 28 points against arguably the No. 1 team in the nation Sierra Canyon. The Cardinals fell 72-54.
In The Classic at Damien, Harper and the Cardinals were named the Gold Division Champions with a 75-52 win against Washington Prep as Harper took home the tournament’s MVP honors.
“More disciplined, organized and more beneficial as a team, not just individuals,” Harper said of the team’s practices and training sessions. “Everyone gets better, we aren’t the same team, we are always getting better and improving. We are a real dominant team and we are hard to stop if we play disciplined and listen to coach. We can play and compete with anyone in front of us, we grew and we built chemistry together.”
SCCS finished the regular season 19-5 and hasn’t suffered a loss since Jan. 11 in a non-league contest against Taft High School and hasn’t looked back winning 10 straight.
Harper began the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs with a 22 point performance against Maranatha, 14 points against La Habra in the second round, 16 points against Fairmont Prep, a team-high 30 points against Chaminade and KJ Simpson.
“I always think about who I’m doing it for and why I’m doing it, which is my little sister, little brother and my mom,” Harper said. “Every single time, I step on the floor, I believe that I can compete against anyone and no one can beat me or my teammates if we are all together. That’s what drives me, I want to win and do it the right way.”
Rolling to win after win, Harper and the Cardinals’ Southern-Section playoff run culminated in SCCS’ third-straight CIF-SS Championship game and hopefully their second title in three years, but Harper believes that it begins with defense.
“It comes down to defense and executing on the offensive end,” Harper said. “Once we play defense, our offense comes because we are a good offensive team. Once we start playing defense then we get a lot of steals and our offense gets better because the other team will be on their toes and not know what to do.”
SCCS and St. Francis meet in the CIF-SS Division 2AA Championship game at Azusa-Pacific University at 12 p.m. on Saturday.