CHATSWORTH, Calif. – After a winning each game of the Hart Holiday Classic last week by an average of 37.5 points, the No. 21 Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (10-1) faced a tough challenge from the Cantwell-Sacred Heart Cardinals (14-3), but found just enough strength to pull out an 87-81 win at home.
It was the ninth consecutive win for the Trailblazers.
Aside from the win, the Trailblazers welcomed junior guard Cassius Stanley back into the lineup. Stanley transferred over the summer from Harvard-Westlake and was required to sit out a period of time before suiting up.
He finished the game with 19 points and was excited to get back out on the court.
“It was great, we had such great chemistry. All my teammates are just so much fun,” Stanley said. “I’ve been looking forward to this since the summer, just getting out there, having fun and winning.”
Stanley started out a bit slow at first, but as the game went on he began to get more comfortable within the flow of the game. He attacked the rim with ease, knocked down perimeter jumpers, and found his teammates for open looks.
“I was pretty stiff and nervous in the beginning, I’m not gonna lie,” Stanley said. “I felt a little lost, I felt out of place. I was like, ‘it’s just basketball, just go out there and play.’”
Stanley adds yet another weapon to an already talented Trailblazers team. Junior forward K.J. Martin and junior guard Scottie Pippen Jr. also added 19 points each. Senior guard Duane Washington Jr. had 14.
“It was wonderful, [Stanley] was a little fatigued because he hasn’t played a whole lot,” Chevalier said. “His skill level, his understanding of the game, it was great.”
While Cantwell-Sacred Heart was a good test, the Trailblazers will face arguably their biggest challenge of the season on Friday night against No. 8 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance). The Knights are 12-0, and they defeated the Trailblazers in last year’s CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.
“They’re a very well coached team, very, very seasoned team,” Stanley said. “People wouldn’t say we’re seasoned, but I think that our leadership on our team, all of us hold each other accountable. We’re doing pretty well when it comes down to it and I think that could help us.”