Knights face Desert Christian in league game
Stevenson leads Desert Christian with 19 points
LANCASTER – You can’t call it a rivalry just yet.
The two teams haven’t played each other enough, but they are starting to get familiar with one another.
Desert Christian joined the Heritage League this season and will likely play Lancaster Baptist at least twice a year for years to come.
Round 1 went to the Knights as they had no problems with the Eagles on their home floor defeating them, 59-36, on Dec. 3.
The second meeting between the two teams on Friday night was a different venue, same result.
Desert Christian led from start to finish and ran away with a convincing 76-24 victory over Lancaster Baptist at Lancaster Baptist High School.
“We brought the energy tonight. I liked how we played defense,” Desert Christian head coach David Nurse said. “Anytime you win, it’s a good win. This is a good victory going into tomorrow (against Trinity Classical). Against them we have to do all the smart things.”
The Knights (8-11, 4-4) face Trinity Classical today at The Master’s University in a Heritage League showdown.
Isaiah Diaz and J.C. Stevenson were the offensive catalysts for Desert Christian and both seniors were able get out in transition and get easy layups. The two combined for 15 of the Knights’ 22 points in the first quarter.
Stevenson had a game-high 19 points and Diaz chipped in with 17 points. Ten of the 12 rostered players for Desert Christian scored at least two points. Only starters Garrett van Boheemen and Frank Flores didn’t score for the Knights.
Desert Christian was able to put up points in bunches. It used a 7-0 run to open the second quarter. Later in the quarter, freshman Luke Dumas stole a pass and sailed
in for an easy layup to help his team build a 39-9 lead.
The Knights’ stingy defense forced Lancaster Baptist to commit 26 turnovers. Many of those resulted in easy points on the other end.
“It’s tough we lost. We’re in a tough league, but that’s no excuse. We can use this opportunity to get better as a team,” said the Eagles’ Cody Hensley. “We have to push ourselves. We’ve had less practice than most teams because of football. We just have to work on every possible scenario.”
Lancaster Baptist’s roster consists of many football players. The team made the CIF finals this season.
The Eagles had trouble penetrating Desert Christian’s defense so it turned into a 3-point shooting contest as Lancaster Baptist shot poorly, only connecting on five 3-pointers out of 32 attempts.
“In the past few games we weren’t very focused, but I think in this game we put our minds together and got the job done. Overall we played a good game and our chemistry went up,” said Desert Christian’s Jordan Nave. “This game changed us. I think it will help us moving forward. Tonight we won as a team and it felt good. We’re all family and it was good to see everyone got involved.”
The Knights closed the first half on an 18-4 run and led 47-12 at halftime. Desert Christian’s defense held the Eagles to only two field goals in each of the four quarters.
“We just have to hit our shots. Today we just didn’t play well, but we have to continue to just keep playing hard. We turned the ball over too much and we can’t be lazy with the basketball,” said Lancaster Baptist’s Noel Flores. “If we continue to keep practicing, I know we can get better. Tonight was a bad night for us. I know we could have competed more.”
Flores led his team with 11 points and knocked down three 3-pointers. Hensley finished with six points and two blocks.
JUMP BLOCK — Desert Christian’s Garrett van Boheemen (22) jumps up to block a shot against Lancaster Baptist’s (21) on Friday. The Knights won the Heritage League game 76-24.
LET IT FLY Desert Christian’s Isaiah Diaz, jumping, throws up a basket against Lancaster Baptist on the road on Friday. The Knights won 76-24. JOHN SANDERS Valley Press Sports Correspondent