Los Angeles Preps: Casey Trujeque

LA South: Price finally turns it on
to beat Francis Parker in D-IV Regional

March, 20, 2010
ONTARIO — The inevitable happened Saturday night in the Southern California Regional Division IV boys’ basketball championship. Price High of Los Angeles finally shifted gears late in the third quarter and put away Francis Parker of San Diego, 69-48, at Colony High.

Francis Parker (20-10) managed to stay within single digits for much of the first half and into the second, but an 8-0 run at the end of the third quarter gave the Knights a 58-42 lead and they glided from there.

Allen Crabbe was everything that has been written about him. The 6-foot-6 senior guard finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, showing why he’s headed to California on a basketball scholarship later this year. Crabbe, who was named the Gatorade state player of the year in boys’ basketball this week, shot nine for 16 from the floor and three for six from beyond the three-point line. Two of his three-pointers were NBA distance.

Crabbe had plenty of help, however. Namely, 5-7 senior guard Casey Trujeque, who sank a three-pointer to start the run at the end of the third quarter, and finished it off with a driving layup at the buzzer. Trujeque finished with 13 points and seven assists.

Askia Booker was the other Price player in double figures in scoring, contributing 11 points and nine rebounds.

Now, it’s on to the state championship in Bakersfield, a site that’s new to Price but certainly not a level of competition. The Knights (33-3) have won six state championships, all at Arco Arena in Sacramento.

LA South & LA North:
Trujeque takes turn in spotlight

March, 11, 2010
It was pick your poison, in every sense, for the Westlake Village Oaks Christian boys’ basketball team during Thursday‘s Southern California Regional playoff game on the road.

Do the Lions double-team Allen Crabbe? Do they send an extra man on Richard Solomon? It was a problem indeed. But ultimately, Oaks Christian ended up having to turn its focus on Casey Trujeque.

With Crabbe and Solomon struggling, Trujeque filled in admirably and scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in a decisive third quarter run to guide the Knights to a 68-42 Division IV quarterfinal victory.

“We needed someone to man up and Casey did the job for us,’’ Price coach Michael Lynch said.

It’s not as if Trujeque wasn’t capable. He is, after all, going to play ball at the Division I level next year. He committed to Montana State despite having offers from several other schools.

Top-seeded Price (31-3) had a six-point lead at the break. Entering the third quarter, the Lions (20-10) might have thought they had a chance, but Trujeque made sure that wasn’t the case.

By the time he was finished scoring on variety of layups and three-pointers, the Knights extended their advantage to 47-32 entering the fourth quarter and ruined any momentum Oaks Christian had gathered.

"We knew they were going to up the ante at some point, we just thought it was going to be one of their two other guys to step up and try to take the game over,’’ Lions coach Tom Roanhuas said.

In most cases, Crabbe or Solomon, both heading to Cal, would assume the leadership role, similar to the way each has done numerous times in the past. It had become a right of passage.

But on this night, it was Trujeque’s turn.

And the Lions never saw it coming.