(Oro Valley, AZ) The Trojans traveled north into the Lions Den at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy.
The Lions boasted a 19-2 record and 6-0 in league play. Catalina came in at 13-9 and 2-3 respectively.
The Troajns coming off their one point victory in the MLK Classic 66-65 over Sahuarita.
How would the front line of Catalina handle 6’10” Lucas Elliott. Both teams traded baskets in the first quarter as most of the scoring was from the perimeter. Elliott didn’t score until the 3:22 left in the first quarter.
The final two minutes of the quarter, the Lions hit a three pointer and a layup off the inbounds pass to pull ahead by five 15-10.
José Lugo, who’s a dual sport star drew the assignment of covering Elliott whom the Lions went down low in the second quarter. At the halfway point of the quarter, Pusch Ridge led 27-18.
The refs whistles came out early and often not letting the action get into much of a flow. Jose Crucellas picked up three early fouls to put a strain on the already short handed Trojans.
With their constant perimeter ball movement, the Lions always had Catalina second guessing on when and where they would dump it inside to Elliott who fisnished with six points. Jarod Clark lead the Lions with eleven points.
The Trojan’s Phillip Kijana had seventeen of the team’s twenty seven points because of foul trouble that forced Coach Obie Tann use his thin bench.
Midway through the third quarter, Kijana lit up the Lions with five straight points, but Elliott and company stopped the run with a quick four points to get their lead back to eight 44-36.
Kijana kept up the pressure with his outside game, but had little help from the other Trojans starters.
Catalina would pull within four points bit their transistion defense would let one of the Lion’s guards get behind them for easy layups.
In the final quarter, Pusch Ridge had their way on the drives to the hoop because the Troajns had to lay off of any attempted shot blocks due to four of the five starters in foul trouble. The Lions took the Trojans 71-62.
Catalina’s Kijana had another stellar game with 35 points but he was a one man show.
The Lions were led by Clark with 13 points, with four of the five starters in double figures.