East County Sports

Patriots finally back in section title game

Junior CHRISTIAN WEST grabs a rebounds on Wednesday night.



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Christian Patriots advanced to their first San Diego Section CIF championship game in 18 years with a 52-37 win over heralded Bishop’s on Wednesday night at Ryan Athletic Center.

Christian, which has won seven section titles all-time, last won a CIF championship game in 1999, but have to be considered favored to finally add another title banner when it faces Francis Parker in the SDCIF Division II final on Saturday at 5 p.m. at San Marcos High.

Christian during a timeout on Wednesday night at Ryan Athletic Center.

The Patriots are the No. 2-seed and come in riding a 10-game win streak against the ninth-seeded Lancers, who did their work in back-to-back upsets of Montgomery and Otay Ranch.

Still, Francis Parker finished one-game behind Bishop’s in the county’s toughest conference, the Coastal League.

Christian trailed the Knights early on Wednesday, but after a 7-all first quarter, the Patriots led 22-15 at halftime.

“Tonight was one of those type of battles that require someone to be the aggressor,” said Christian High head coach DAVION FAMBER. “While we tried to be the aggressor, our shot selection said otherwise. I knew Bishops didn’t want to get into a sprint with us, but I did see them trying to slow the game down.

The Patriots led 31-25 at the end of three periods.

“Being down early is not something that scares us,” said Famber, who guided Mission Vista to the CIF Division IV title two years ago. “We have a group of guys that are learning to play the game the correct way. Our different defensive schemes really confused them and we were able to force them into some tough turnovers.”

Christian High senior star NASHOM CARTER scored 12 points in the fourth quarter en route to 21 points. He had a pair of field goals late in the first quarter after the Knights were off to a 7-3 lead.

Carter gave the Patriots a 14-11 lead with a three early in the second, but he was on fire on the fourth and helped Christian go up 15 points with a minute-and-a-half left to play.

Patriots junior center JACKSON LARSEN scored 12 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the fouls stripe.

Christian High junior guard ISAIAH ROBINSON canned a three-pointer in the second, third and fourth period.

After Bishop’s tied the game early in the third, Robinson hit his second triple of the game to make it 28-25. Then Larsen drained one from straight away to put the Pats up six.

JORDAN GAINES scored eight points in the first half, including five in the all-important second quarter.

Despite being the ninth-seed with a record 13-12 overall, Francis Parker’s power ranking places them much closer competitively to the Patriots than the original seedings, thanks to the computer’s strength of schedule determination.

Parker finished 4-8 the Coastal League, which included the likes of Foothills Christian and La Jolla Country Day, and of course, Bishop’s, which finished 5-7 in that circuit.





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