Linfield Christian's Torin Webb moves past Calvary Murrieta's Ted Hilliard to score a two-point basket Tuesday night. The Lions defeated the Warriors 75-41 in the Ambassador League opener. CHARLIE NEUMANN | FOR THE UT
Linfield Christian's Daniel Morris makes a two-point shot in front of Calvary Murrieta's Brody Myers during the Lions' 75-41 Ambassador League victory over the Warriors Tuesday night. CHARLIE NEUMANN | FOR THE UT
TEMECULA The Linfield Christian boys basketball team fires at will from the perimeter like few others.
And when the Lions shoot like they did Tuesday night, few teams can look as impressive.
Linfield continued its hot start to the league season by sinking 12 3-pointers and running away from visiting Calvary Murrieta, 75-41, on Tuesday night.
The win solidified the Lions’ early grip on the Ambassador League, as they improved to 5-0 in league (10-7 overall), two games ahead of Woodcrest Christian and Ontario Christian.
Tuesday night showed how impressive the Lions’ shooters can be. Of their dozen 3-pointers, 10 came in the middle two quarters, when Linfield shot 70 percent (21-for-30) from the field while turning a one-point, first-quarter lead into a 62-33 rout by the end of the third quarter.
That was in stark contrast to their last game, when they shot 4-for-24 on 3-pointers in a loss to Escondido Calvin Christian in the title game of the Caged Classic on Dec. 29.
“It’s good and bad for us,” Lions coach Shawn Stroud said. “The live-by-the-3, die-by-the-3 thing is tough. The difference tonight in the second quarter is we would drive into the key, then kick it out to get a good shot.”
Senior guard Darryl Morris led the way for the Lions, scoring a game-high 22 points, including 4 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Torin Webb added 17 points (also hitting 4 3s) to go with six assists.
The Lions were, not surprisingly, a confident bunch during this game between the Valley’s two most prominent private schools and league rivals.
“Pretty much,” Morris said. “I feel like if we can shoot like that, we can beat pretty much any team out there.
“Within reason,” he carefully added. “Probably not an NBA team.”
Two years removed from a winless season, Calvary Murrieta (5-6, 1-4) endured another growing pain as it continues to show marked improvement in its second season under coach Brian Wethers, the former Murrieta Valley standout who later starred at Cal.
Calvary’s 2-3 and 3-2 zones couldn’t match Linfield’s perimeter passing, which always seemed to find the open man Tuesday.
“We prepared for the (3-pointers),” said Wethers, whose team was led by sophomore Ted Hillard (12 points). “We just didn’t stay committed to what we’re trying to do (with the zone).
“You got to give them credit — they shot phenomenal,” Wethers added. “But we certainly helped them build their confidence.”