East County Sports

Knights send Saints to pit of misery

2018 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

By Adam Paul

EastCountySports.com

SAN DIEGO CIF OPEN DIVISION PLAYOFFS

#1 FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 85, #8 ST. AUGUSTINE 55

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (2-23-18) – In one of the more anticipated matchups of the evening due to a lot of storylines involved in the game, a huge crowd showed up to witness a contest that became lopsided after the first quarter.

The storylines coming into the contest included the fact that Foothills Christian superstar and Arizona State-bound Taeshon Cherry played for Saints last season and was involved in the controversial game between the two in which Saints won 72-69.

The other big storyline is the fact that Cherry played for Saints last season and just before the season started this year, he transferred to Foothills.

Besides the storylines, the game was a big one in general. In fact so big that a Saint Augustine Alumni actually rented out one of the local bars in town so that Saints Alumni who couldn’t make the game in person could watch it as it was streamed online.

So in front of a packed house at Cuyamaca College which included the Saint Augustine student section nicknamed “The Pit” who was pretty boisterous the two teams in the first quarter put on a show in a close game.

The Saints student section tried to get into the head of Cherry as they shouted “USC, USC” as Cherry had previously committed to the Trojans but de-committed.

With about four minutes to play in the first quarter. the Knights led 11-9.

With the Knights leading 16-11 after the first quarter they would put on a clinic behind Jaren Nafarrete and his 11 points and also Cherry scoring 8 points which included a couple three balls and also a monstrous dunk at the end of the half which electrified the home crowd.

Foothills Christian over a ten-minute span which started at the end of the first quarter would outscore Saints 30-11 and would lead 39-22 at intermission.

“I think the dunk set us off,” said Cherry, as the Knights really went on a roll over the second quarter.

A telltale stat of the game is the fact that the Knights forced 21 Saints turnovers which included 15 in the first half and turned the majority of those into points.

It was more of the same in the second half after the intermission as the Knights came out showed their might as they had their way. With just over minutes remaining in the quarter, the Knights would lead 49-26.

On the evening for the Knights in the lopsided victory, Yassine Gharram scorched Saints for 33 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists while Cherry notched 14 points.

Other scorers for the Knights included point guard Nafarrete who was hobbling a little in the second half as he was hampered by a right calf cramp was able to finish with 18 points.

Also, Derrick Carter-Hollinger contributed with 8 points, 9 rebounds and also a nice pair of blocks.

“Our defense was locked in tonight and when its locked in we are hard to beat,” said Gharram. “Also, the fact that Cherry has matured so much over the season has fueled our winning.”

With Cherry’s maturity and the fact that the Knights are locked in right now, they have now won 17 games in a row.

Leading the Saints in scoring on the evening was Tyson McWilliams who had 13 points while Chibuzo Agbo scored 11 points.

With the victory, the Knights (25-5) will face Mater Dei Catholic on Wednesday evening who defeated San Marcos in their Friday evening contest.

 

 

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