BASKETBALL: Cavaliers come out on top of Trailblazers

The Central Valley Christian Cavaliers defeat the Golden West Trailblazers 64-46 in their final game of non-league play

VISALIA – The Cavaliers will head into league with an 8-8 record after defeating the Golden West Trailblazers 64-46.

It was a close basket-for-basket game for the first three quarters before CVC went on a good scoring run and pulled ahead. The Trailblazers struggled to respond and fell behind in points, costing them the win.

“That run at the end of the fourth quarter was more indicative of who we’re trying to be, executing offense, taking over the game and doing the little things we’re supposed to be doing,” CVC head coach Michael Hackbarth said. “Something shifted for the team there. We just kind of locked in on the task at hand.”

CVC has lost to Golden West the past two times they played each other and entered this game with a 7-8 record, while Golden West came in with an 11-5 record. The Cavaliers were not favored to win the game, but matched the Trailblazers point for point and ended up ahead at the end of each quarter. In the fourth, they surged ahead, allowing the Trailblazers only one basket in the fourth.

The Cavaliers were led by junior Justin Stroud, who netted five of the six baskets the Cavaliers had in the fourth quarter. When he hit his stride in the fourth quarter, the Trailblazers couldn’t stop him. Every time they seemed to set up their offense, Stroud had the ball again, driving down the court to put up another two points for the Cavaliers, stretching their lead.

The game was an even match at the beginning. Both teams played strong offense and defense, matching each other on both sides of the court. But something shifted for the normally consistent Trailblazers in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t respond very well to that run,” Golden West head coach Drew Hall said. “It kind of ended the game unfortunately. We didn’t really ever fight back the way we have in the past.”

The Trailblazers have been preparing for more physical games in league play against bigger players. Golden West, along with the three other Visalia public schools were shifted into the East Yosemite League with Porterville and Monache. They will face a final non-league opponent, Hanford West on Jan. 6, before starting league.

CVC begins league play with a record that puts them in the middle of the pack. They have been watching film of other teams and scouting out new teams in the league to prepare. The Cavaliers will face the Reedley Pirates, their first league opponent, on Jan. 11.

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