Trinity boys’ basketball (9-3) won its third straight game on Friday with a 66-50 win over the visiting Grace Brethren Lancers (1-1) on Friday.
The Knights were led by junior Lucas Spring, who poured in 21 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and a block.
Trinity’s defensive efforts set the tone early with quick rotations and intense ball defense. The team would cap off an 11-0 run to end the first quarter as well as holding the Lancers scoreless for nearly six minutes in the first half.
The game would be back and forth from there on but Trinity’s lead early would be enough to hold off Grace.
Knights senior Bram Yoo was also key in keeping the Lancers at bay. Yoo racked up 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Trinity’s ball movement and offense fluidity fueled the offense as five different Knights scored more than five points.
“We’ve been working on [ball movement] every single day,” said Trinity head coach Daniel Hebert. “We’ve been practicing. Our guys all get along well, like each other. But they’re just figuring out that they don’t need to take the first open shot that we can swing in and get the best shot every time and they’ve been playing great the last three or so games doing that.”
Grace Brethren’s Justice Mramor did what he could to get the Lancers back into the game but the group just couldn’t consistently break down the Knights’ defense. Mramor led his team with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
The Knights have struggled with establishing an inside presence with no true center on the roster. However, on Friday the team drove into the paint and found lanes to take the easy shots inside while also freeing up their sharpshooters.
“[We were] being physical and matching their physicality on defense,” said Yoo. “Rebounding, boxing out has been our biggest issue this year. So, we’re just working on that and I think we showed that tonight.”
Conrad Alderson came up big in the paint and finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.
Trinity’s win streak now hits three games just before the holiday break. The Knights are feeling good with six wins in their last seven games and Hebert believes they may be turning the corner.
“I think we just kind of started playing together,” said Hebert. “I think we have two of the three losses that we could have won but we just were learning. We were having growing pains and learning how to play with each other. Now we really turned the corner and they’re learning how to play with each other.”
As midseason inches closer, the Knights feel good about where they’re at and feel strong improvements in the areas they’ve needed it most.
“We started off the season a little slow but we picked it up in the last three or four games,” said Yoo. “We’ve really hit our stride. We’re playing together as a team. We’re playing defense. We’re moving the ball, so I’d say we’re close to hitting our peak potentially at the right time.”
Trinity will have some tournament games against a few Heritage League foes before their next big league game. The Knights will face Palmdale Aerospace and Desert Christian in tournament action before their big league game with Santa Clarita Christian on Friday, Dec. 30, at The Master’s University at 6 p.m. The Knights will be looking for their first win over the Cardinals in seven years.