JSerra breezes to victory over Banning


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Trinity League athletics are not for the faint-hearted.

The JSerra boys basketball team finished fifth in the Trinity League, but it has won its first two CIF-SS playoff games convincingly.

The Lions defeated Banning, 65-36, in the second round of the CIF Division 4AA playoffs Friday.

“We got our tails handed to us a couple of times in league play, and it definitely prepared us for playoff time,” JSerra coach Joedy Gardner said.

The Lions (18-10) will play at Serra of Gardena on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

After a competitive first quarter, the Lions took control of the game in the second. They outscored the visiting Broncos, 21-5, in the quarter and out-rebounded them, 18-10.

JSerra playing without one of its top players, Sebastian Much, still managed to out-rebound Banning, 45-29, in the game.

Steele Brenner led the Lions with 12 rebounds. The senior also scored 12 points.

“Our number one key to the game was boxing out and rebounding,” Gardner said. “Steele has been a great rebounder his whole career.We gang-rebounded tonight, which is something we need to do more going forward.”

JSerra senior guard Alec Hickman scored 20 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

“He is critical with Sebastian out. Him stepping up and carrying the team helps us become an even better team when we are at full strength,” Garner said.

Banning (18-9) was coming off an impressive first-round win against St. Francis in which Emanuelle Bradbury scored 38 points. Bradbury had 13 points and eight rebounds Friday.

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