Knights face Desert Chris­tian in league game

Steven­son leads Desert Chris­tian with 19 points

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JOHN SAN­DERS

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.

JOHN SAN­DERS/Val­ley Press Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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