EC Preps

THE CONQUERORS NIP THE KNIGHTS IN BATTLE ZONE

PHOTO COURTESY OF SDPREPS

ECPREPS BASKETBALL REPORT

By James McHugh

CORONA (11-27-17) – Foothills Christian fell 79-75 in the opening round of the 2017 BattleZone Tournament at Corona Centennial High School on Monday night, the first such defeat since joining the tournament roster two seasons ago.

In 2015 TJ LEAF battled with LONZO Ball, IKE ANIGBOGU and a score of top talent at the tournament. Last season JAYLEN HANDS was the standout star for the Knights when they headed North. Hands has since taken his talents to Westwood. Leaf and Anigbogu had stops in L.A. as well before being drafted by the Indiana Pacers. Of course Lonzo Ball’s name (along with his family) seem to pop up in the press here and there.

This season all eyes are on TAESHON CHERRY who joined Foothills Christian just before the start of the season. With a number of new pieces, the Knights still managed to score 75 points against Los Altos despite starters who had never played a regular season game together. Cherry had a solid outing for Foothills Christian knocking down 15-points. Unfortunately the Senior standout was relegated to the bench early, fouling out with 5:25 to play on the night and the Knights trailing by three. “I didn’t do what I needed to do as a leader of the team tonight and I take responsibility for the loss tonight, I think we will be good next game. It was our first game together and we addressed all of the wrongs we did and I know we will figure it out” the USC bound Wing said after the Knight’s loss.

Junior DERRICK CARTER-HOLLINGER was the most potent offensive weapon on the night for Foothills Christian, finishing with 35-points and 15 rebounds. Despite the setback, Foothills seems likely to remain the section’s number one team until they see local action or Vista, Saint Augustine or Mission Bay have impressive early showings.

Assistant Coach Jonathan Ramirez filled in for Head Coach Brad Leaf who is still in Indianapolis with family following the Holidays. Ramirez saw some bright spots along with the speed bumps in his first game among the Foothills staff. “We turned the ball over way too much and didn’t team rebound. We are still trying to get to know each other. DJ played his tail off and once we get on the same page and play hard for 32-minutes we will be fine. It was our first game, it’s a long season.”

Foothills alum Jaylen Hands had some words of encouragement for the Knights moving forward. “It’s early in the season, long way to go. Shake it off, learn and apply what you learned in the next game. Don’t lose confidence” Hands offered from Los Angels.

Cherry appears ready to take that bit of advice as the Knights move forward. “All the jitters are out now so next game we are going to come back and be better for sure.”

Jarod Lucas (27), Julian Lopez (25) and Bryant Howing (21) combined for 73 of Los Altos’ 79-points. Foothills Christian plays again Wednesday against Rancho Christian at the BattleZone Tournament.

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