CHATSWORTH, Calif. — In front of a star-studded crowd that included former NBA players Scottie Pippen, Kenyon Martin, and Derek Fisher, as well as Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner, the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (24-4) put on a show.
They knocked off the Foothills Christian Knights (26-7), 88-61, in the first round of the CIF Open Division State Playoffs. Foothills Christian led only once all game at 4-2. From that point on, it was all Sierra Canyon.
“Our defensive pressure just wore them down. They weren’t very deep, they only played six people,” Sierra Canyon head coach Andre Chevalier said after the game. “We just tried to keep the pressure on and eventually they wore down and got in foul trouble.”
Foothills Christian was without their star senior Taeshon Cherry, who was dismissed from the school earlier this month. Without him, they struggled to put points on the board all game long. Sierra Canyon opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run and the Knights never challenged after that.
The Trailblazers were trying to get rid of the bad taste in their mouth left by the Southern Section Open Division Final loss to Mater Dei. Against the Knights, they showed that it’s well in the past and their only focus is winning a state title.
Leading the way for Sierra Canyon was junior guard Cassius Stanley. He attacked the rim relentlessly and threw down several high-flying dunks that had the crowd on their feet. He finished the game with 25 points.
“We want to destroy anybody in our way. We were all really mad we lost our CIF final game,” Stanley said. “Every time we were like, ‘attack, attack, destroy, destroy.’”
Junior forward K.J. Martin and sophomore forward Terren Frank had 21 points each.
As the Trailblazers continue their quest for a state championship, their next opponent will be a familiar foe. The Bishop Montgomery Knights, last year’s State Open Division champions, will be coming in looking for payback. Sierra Canyon defeated them last month in the Southern Section playoffs, ending their 26-game winning streak.
“We’re just going to have to come out really focused,” Sierra Canyon senior guard Duane Washington Jr. said after the game. “They’re a great team, we’re going to have to do what we did last game. Hopefully, we can take advantage of it and play our hardest. We have to execute, we have to play defense. We’re going to have to play a helluva game to beat them again.”
(Highlights courtesy of Mars Reel)