By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Trinity Classical Academy Knights (10-6, 5-0) wanted to give the Faith Baptist Contenders (2-5, 2-3) zero time to even think about scoring the ball, and with 19 steals as a team — 15 coming in the first half — they did exactly that.
The Knights beat the Contenders, 81-17, on Monday behind their relentless efforts to keep the Contenders from having any sort of momentum in the game.
“It doesn’t matter who you play, you control your effort and attitude,” said Knights head coach James De Monbrun. “We haven’t had a lot of practice so we just wanted to try to do simple things well. Things we know how to do and have practiced a lot. We feel like if we rebound and run, we will have a lot of fun.”
At the end of the first quarter the Knights took a quick 19-11 lead. The Knights would proceed the rest of the game only allowing six points for the rest of the game, including only allowing three points between the second and third quarters and scoring 54 points in the process.
The Contenders’ top scorer, Taylor Selznick, finished with 11 points but would be quickly double teamed for the rest of the game and only allowed three second-half points.
The Knights showed they are not only capable of suffocating the opponent on defense, but also their ability to share the ball and score on fast breaks is where most of their damage was done, finishing with 19 assists as a team.
The Knights were firing on all cylinders with five players finishing in double figures and were led by Kelly Lotz, who finished with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Ella Stepan finished with 11 points and Katie Brown finished with 10 points, three steals and two assists.
“Obviously we came into it wanting to play our hearts out,” said Lotz. “Seeing the improvement from last year and what we’ve made over the summer and first couple of months over the season, and that was the hard work we put in. I’m just super proud of the girls for taking their time to put in the work and get better individually so when it came to playing like a team tonight it was easy and effortless.”
Emma Schaaf finished with 15 points, and doing it all for the Knights was Lily Caddow, who led the team in points (18), assists (6) and steals (8).
“Everyone got to go in so it was super exciting to see the girls go in and see what they’ve been working on,” said Caddow. “It was awesome passing it to open teammates and knowing what they would do. It’s been super fun as I got older and I’m just really happy I got to do that tonight. I knew getting steals would create scoring opportunities for myself as well so my main focus was to try to do that as best as I can.”