SVC overcomes early scare, cruises into semifinals


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Saddleback Valley Christian coach Tom Lewis acknowledged he didn’t sleep the past two nights leading up to the Warriors’ CIF-SS Division 5AA quarterfinal matchup with Silver Valley of Yermo.

His concerns were realized early. The Warriors came out tight and fell behind by nine points midway through the first quarter, leading to a timeout.

SVC was fine from then on. Jon Scherer hit a pair of 3-pointers to start a 15-1 run to end the quarter. The Warriors never slowed from there, advancing to the semifinals with a 79-49 win at home Tuesday night.

“I can sleep tonight,” Lewis said. “They were tough from what I saw on tape, so I knew they were going to compete, but I can sleep tonight.”

SVC will host Flintridge Prep in the semifinals on Friday. The site is to be determined.

Trey Smith scored a game-high 26 points and capped each of the first two quarters with jump shots. SVC held a 43-29 lead at halftime.

Scherer finished with 17 points and hit five 3-pointers, but the Warriors utilized an inside-out style offense by using Tyshan Barrett and Jordan Taylor down low.

Bennett scored 10 points and corralled eight rebounds.

“We saw on tape that they played behind the post and we’re bigger than them,” Lewis said. “We knew we had an advantage and we tried to get it in as much as we could.”

The Trojans (21-5) came out fired up as Jefferson David hit a 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers to help Silver Valley to a 12-3 lead.

In the second quarter, it was SVC taking advantage of the Trojans’ frantic pace.

Smith turned a pair of turnovers into fastbreak points, while Barrett, Taylor and Nick Andrews combined for 10 points in the post.

“When they started focusing on the big guys, it opens me up on the outside and it opens everyone else up,” Smith said. “It allows me to drive to the basket, find other players or look for my shot.”

SVC (19-11) continued to roll in the third. A steal by Josh Crutchfield turned into a two-handed dunk by Smith, extending the lead to 56-31. SVC held the Trojans to three third quarter points.

Jefferson David led Silver Valley with 18 points, scoring 14 of those in the first half. Maazin Ahmad scored 11 points.

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