By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Trinity Classical Knights defeated the Dos Pueblos Chargers and will move on in the playoffs after yet another lopsided win.
The Knights did not need much time to put away the Dos Pueblos Chargers on Wednesday.
The attack of senior Kelly Lotz and shooting of junior Lily Caddow proved too much for the visiting Chargers in their Division 3A Southern Section playoff matchup.
Lotz was everywhere, scoring 15 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists.
The reigning 5A state champs have played well in the playoffs so far in a higher division, now posting back-to-back blowouts of their postseason opponents.
The Knights’ offense ran as fast as they scored, earning an early 23-7 lead in the first quarter.
Caddow was huge in the quarter, knocking down 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
“I struggle a lot to relax and let myself play,” Caddow said. “I’m thankful I have a great coach and teammates always encouraging me. [Coach James De Monbrun] told me just relax and go play.”
Caddow finished with a game-high 20 points and three steals.
Dos Pueblos made some changes and full court pressed Trinity, forcing disruption, but it did not produce enough turnovers to close the gap.
De Monbrun was quick to adjust and had Lotz help bring the ball up. The bumps were mostly smoothed out and Trinity could work the ball around again.
The team also dominated in the rebounding game more than doubling the Chargers rebound total.
Ella Stepan was a big part of that, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.
The big opening quarter would be the bulk of scoring for the Knights. Trinity tallied more points in the first eight minutes than they did in the second half.
Dos Pueblos guard Justine Katz led the Chargers with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists.
The Knights’ defense was sound all game. The team’s worst defensive quarter only saw nine Dos Pueblos’ points, allowing no chance for a Charger comeback.
“There’s not a lot of teams that play man-to-man,” De Monbrun said. “We chose to because it gives us a higher ceiling. If you want to beat the best teams out there you have to be able to sit down and defend.”
The Chargers played great defense in the second half but would need a lot more to close the gap. Dos Pueblos played hard to the last buzzer as the team continued to press the Knights even with the victors’ subs in at the end of the game. They managed to force a few more turnovers and get some more points on the board.
The Knights are now playing much tougher opponents in 3A then they were in last season’s state championship run. De Monbrun made sure to schedule his team as many public school games as possible to prepare them for another playoff push.
“Winning games like tonight are a testament to having played Canyon, Hart, Saugus,” De Monbrun said. “The schedule this year definitely prepared us for the postseason.”
Trinity now will play Holy Martyrs Armenian on Saturday.