Jake Kates had a simple explanation for Summit Christian Academy’s woes March 8: It just wasn’t the Eagles’ day.
SCA’s season came to an end that day in the Class 3 quarterfinals at the Independence Events Center, when the Eagles fell behind early and never recovered in a 69-53 loss to Barstow.
Sure, SCA had trouble containing 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Jeriah Horne, who bulled his way to 28 points. And the Eagles struggled to get their transition game going and found themselves in foul trouble.
But it was just one of those days.
“We had been playing some decent basketball but some days you just don’t have it and that was our day today,” Kates said.
Horne put up 38 points when these two Crossroads Conference rivals last met in January at Barstow, a game the Knights won 71-59. SCA tried a zone defense to stop him, but that took away from their transition game.
“When we went to man our plan was to double down on him when he caught it inside of 15 (feet),” Kates said. “He made some nice passes out of that, especially in that (third) quarter that hurt us.”
Horne scored nine points during a 16-3 run starting the third quarter that put Barstow, 26-2, firmly in control. The outburst boosted Barstow’s lead from 26-21 at the half to 42-24.
The Eagles closed to within 52-45 midway through the fourth quarter, but Barstow pulled away with a 13-2 spurt late in the game.
Taurin Hughes, who set SCA’s career scoring record earlier in the season, led the Eagles with 13 points while Greg Nicoll added 12. It was the last game for Hughes, Nicoll and four other seniors, who closed out their final season 24-6 and one win away from the Class 3 final four.
“We couldn’t have asked for more,” Kates said. “This is a special group of kids. They’ve grown a lot this year and we’ll miss them.”