MaxPreps Holiday Classic: Slow start dooms Lions

MaxPreps Holiday Classic: Slow start dooms Lions

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MaxPreps Holiday Classic: Slow start dooms Lions

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RANCHO MIRAGE

The Cathedral City boys’ basketball squad has employed the early-season schedule to evidence their upstart valley status.

In Monday night’s championship game of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic’s “Slice New York Style Pizzeria and Ristorante Division,” the Lions had an opportunity to display said skills to all of Southern California.

And they served up a seriously cold pizza.

After falling behind 15-0 in the game’s opening four minutes to the undefeated Buckley School (Sherman Oaks), Cathedral City found itself down 29-2 after the opening quarter.

The Lions were never able to mount an earnest charge in an eventual 77-37 loss to the Griffins.

“Our record can be deceiving honestly. I can’t lie. My team has a problem coming out slow,” said Lions senior Josiah Chavez after the blowout. “In the second quarter tonight, we tied them 14-14. But it was the first quarter that killed us.”

Chavez and fellow senior Chris Grenier led Cathedral City with nine points apiece.

Buckley (13-0), winners of the CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA Championship last season, has moved up to Division-4AA with aplomb this year. The Griffins stomped through the MaxPreps field, winning their four games by an average margin of 47.7 points per contest.

“We just need to start out strong and I know we can do it,” Chavez added. “To me, this team (Buckley) is not that many points better than us. We could put up a fight against this team. We just need to play a full 32 minutes, that’s all is it.”

Cathedral City (9-4), the No. 13 team in Division-3AA, returns to conference play Jan. 7 at home against Xavier Prep. In Chavez’s opinion, Monday’s disappointing finish won’t bruise the possibilities of the season.

“I feel like we’ve got a good team here, a team that can win DVL and that can go undefeated through the rest of the DVL season,” Chavez said. “It’s all about our want and our will to win.”

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