Trinity heads to state semis after 68-54 win over San Bernardino  

Kelly Lotz (12) of Trinity Classical Academy shoots over San Bernardino defender Cinai Juarez (12) at Church of The Nazarene on Thursday, 030422. Dan Watson/The Signal
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By Justin Vigil-Zuniga 

Signal Sports Writer 

The Trinity Classical Knights defeated the San Bernardino Cardinals in another lopsided post-season win.  

The Knights are no strangers to state tournaments and it has shown so far in their Division 4 run.  

Senior Kelly Lotz was outstanding for Trinity, notching another double-double.  

Lotz led the way for Trinity, scoring 18 of her 24 points in the first half. The senior also finished with 10 rebounds and five assists. 

“My teammates really made this an easy one,” said Lotz. “We talked about having simple plays. Simple always works.” 

The Knights came out lethargic on offense and defense to start the game.  

After a tight 15-14 first quarter with San Bernardino leading, Trinity exploded. The Knights scored 25 points in the second quarter to the Cardinals’ 10, to go up 39-25 at the half.  

Cardinal point guard Lexie Murphy was having no trouble getting by most of the Trinity defenders who stepped up to guard her. Knights’ head coach James De Monbrun adjusted, sending in defensive hound Malia Duarte.  

Trinity Classical Academy head coach James De Monbrun talks to player Malia Duarte (22) as she prepares to go into the game against San Bernardino at Church of The Nazarene on Thursday, 030422. Dan Watson/The Signal

Duarte wreaked havoc and was a big part of holding San Bernardino scoreless for half of the second quarter.  

Murphy still had a great two-man game with center Elfredia Bull. The guard consistently got the ball in to Bull, who finished with a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.  

The Knights would get a third scoring option showing up for the second consecutive game, flexing the team’s depth. 

Trinity forward Emma Scaaf poured in 21 points and five rebounds, with Lotz and point guard Lily Caddow consistently getting the sophomore the ball down low.  

Emma Schaaf (32) of Trinity Classical Academy passes to a teammate against San Bernardino at Church of The Nazarene on Thursday, 030422. Dan Watson/The Signal

“The utmost confidence in her,” said De Monbrun. “Emma’s a 10th grader and she’s going to be a special player. She gets better every single day. She puts in the work.” 

The second half was played tight, but with a 14-point lead at halftime, the Knights were just able to keep the Cardinals at a comfortable distance.  

The threes started to fly in the second half for San Bernardino, which had multiple players take 30-foot jumpers. Senior Laniece Johnson was able to get two deep ones to fall and finished with 15 points.  

The Cardinals also attempted to start backcourt pressing the Knights in the second half. However, it was no trouble for Trinity’s seasoned guards who drove through or passed out of every press.  

Trinity still scored when they needed to. Even with Lotz sitting in the fourth quarter due to foul trouble, the Knights were sound on both sides of the ball.  

“We’ve really displayed that we’re more than just a two-headed monster,” De Monbrun said. “We’ve got depth. These girls play hard, they play together and they’re selfless.” 

Trinity last won on Tuesday and with Thursday’s win in the books they get another one-day break before facing Imperial on Saturday.  

“It’s a great feeling knowing that this could be a chance to go back to back in state,” Lotz said. “You wish nothing more as a senior in high school. But I’m just one game at a time, one play at a time, just enjoying every moment of it with these girls.” 

Trinity is scheduled to host Imperial Saturday at 6 p.m. 

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