Left Luke Shmuger of the Crossroads boys varsity basketball goes up for a layup as Bryan Alberts from the Sierra Canyon Boys Varsity basketball team jumps into the air behind him in an attempt to block the layup at Crossroads High School on Tuesday December 14th 2010 as Crossroads hosted Sierra Canyon in a non-league basketball game and lost 70-46 (photo by Morgan Genser)

XRDS — For at least one quarter, Crossroads’ boys’ basketball team was able to hang with Sierra Canyon on Tuesday.

Problem was, Sierra Canyon sophomore Jahmel Taylor wasn’t in the mood to keep things close. The sophomore sharpshooter led Sierra Canyon with 25 points en route to defeating Crossroads, 70-46, on Tuesday on campus. His steady shooting from long range gave Crossroads defenders fits all night as they struggled to keep up during a second quarter that saw them score just 4 points.

From there, it was all Sierra Canyon, which benefited from strong play from another pair underclassmen — freshmen Bryan Alberts and Marsalis Johnson.

“They’re definitely good,” Crossroads head coach Kevin Jackson said. “We got things we wanted, we just couldn’t knock down shots.”

Sierra Canyon, ranked No. 1 in California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 5, made life even more difficult for Crossroads by aggressively defending the Roadrunners’ primary scoring threat, Luke Shmuger.

Despite leading Crossroads with 25 points, Shmuger was harassed by double teams or tight man-to-man coverage all night, forcing him to force a number of shots. Aside from him, not many Crossroads players appeared comfortable in the face of Sierra Canyon’s stiff defense. Alec Roth chipped in 8 points for Crossroads, but was the only other Roadrunner to come close to scoring in double digits.

Sierra Canyon’s head coach, Ryan Silver, said that he was surprised his team was able to dominate despite dressing just seven players. A pair of his starters were on the bench nursing injuries, and another couple of key contributors have yet to join the team following football season.

“We’re a young team,” Silver said, “I was curious to see how these guys would perform.”

Next for Crossroads, which is ranked No. 3 in the current CIF-SS Divisoin 5AA poll, is a cross-town game against Santa Monica-based New Roads tonight on campus. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

daniela@www.smdp.com

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