Trinity boys hoops returns to CIF-SS title game after six-year absence

Trinity Classical Academy's Nathan Thomas (23) drives to the basket against Sierra Vista defender Lukebrian Miller (4) at Castaic High School on Friday, Feb. 27. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Trinity boys basketball is headed to the CIF-Southern Section Ford Boys Basketball Division 5A Championship Game for the first time in six years.

“It’s fun,” said senior Peyton Frazier. “We’re all enjoying it, but at the same time, we still know we’ve got to continue to work to get there. I love it. These guys do it for me and I do it for them. It’s a team effort and it feels good.”

The Knights were propelled there by a 9-3 Heritage League season, which gave them a playoff berth, then sealed the deal with a 54-46 victory over Sierra Vista Friday night at Castaic High School.

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but a win, nonetheless. Trinity got off to a slow start offensively in the first half. They secured only 13 points in the first quarter and another 11 in the second. 

“I think once you get to this level, both teams know each other, they’ve scouted each other, it’s just a matter of kind of feeling it out and my guys, they did that,” said Trinity head coach Aaron Southwick.

The Dons didn’t fare much better due to a strong Trinity defense on the board led by junior Will Yumbar. He dominated the inside, grabbing 11 boards. He also scored 10 points to record a double-double.

Trinity Classical Academy’s Will Yumbar (33) shoots against Sierra Vista defender Hector Lopez (30) at Castaic High School on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Just staying low and knowing I had everybody coming in for rebounds,” Yumbar said of what made him confident on the backboard. “Helping each other out, playing as a team and knowing our roles was the biggest part.”

The Knights figured things out late in the third quarter and carried the momentum through the end of the game. In the final act, they managed to score a game-high 19 points, 12 of which came by way of free throws.

“We just focused on maintaining our effort and concentration,” Southwick said. “We executed and did what we needed to do to win that game.”

Frazier led the charge for the Knights as a field general. He tallied 16 points, four rebounds and three steals. He was supported by Yumbar, sophomores John Cervantes-King (seven points) and Nathan Thomas (four points, five rebounds).

Trinity Classical Academy’s Kyle Fields (21) shoots a three-pointer in the first quarter against Sierra Vista at Castaic High School on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“My guys out there on the court, they’re the ones who put me in position,” Frazier said. “They gave me those opportunities. They created opportunities for me, and I created opportunities for them. As a team, we just make each other better.”

The Knights will play the winner of Banning and Cathedral City for the CIF-SS Division 5A title on Feb. 29. The time and location of the game are yet to be determined.

“I’m just proud of these guys,” Southwick said. “I’m proud of the work they put into it and they deserve it.”

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