[SCCS] – Santa Clarita Christian’s boys basketball players set out to make history in 2013-2014, and as the sun set on their playoff run Saturday in a 63-48 loss to perennial powerhouse View Park (Inglewood), they can be confident that they have achieved it.
The Cardinals (21-8) were 20-game winners for the first time in school history. They advanced to the CIF-SS semifinals for the first time in school history, then did it one better by making it to the championship game.
And then, for good measure, they earned an invitation to the state championship tournament and proved they belonged with a stellar, 65-38 victory over Kern Valley at The Master’s College Wednesday night.
That game was vintage SCCS — dominant rebounding from Philip Webb, who grabbed 16 boards and scored 14 points. They played smothering defense, allowing the Broncos just eight points in the second half. Kamron Carroll (15 points) and Cameron Lewis (15 points) were flying all over the court, pressuring the ball on defense and diving toward the hoop on the offensive end. Chris Collins asserted himself with 14 points and eight rebounds and point guard Alik Airapetyan controlled the tempo and scored nine points.
It was such a showcase performance that one had to believe that regardless of what might happen against View Park (24-5), the team was going to feel good about itself.
But the Cardinals weren’t done impressing. Facing a favored View Park squad on the road Saturday night, SCCS displayed the fight and resiliency that has marked their efforts all season.
They fell behind early, 12-5, but clawed back to make it 14-9 and then 16-11. By halftime, SCCS had pulled to within five points at 26-21.
This could not have been the script that View Park expected to play out. The big team from the little school up north had come to play.
View Park hit its stride in the third, opening a 41-25 lead and building it to a 16-point advantage heading into the third quarter.
The Cardinals refused to go away, however. Slowly, methodically, they cut the lead to 14 … to 12 … to 10.
With 3:00 to go, the Cardinals were within striking distance at 53-43.
View Park responded, as good teams do, and when the final buzzer sounded, the score read 63-48.
But the Cardinals had made their statement — on Wednesday, on Saturday and all season long. They were state contenders. They played games and went places that kept the entire SCCS community buzzing. They turned in performances that set a new standard, that will be remembered and talked about years from now.
That is the definition of historic.