Lions defeat Murrieta Mesa to win tournament title

— TEMECULA – Linfield Christian High School hosted their annual Linfield Caged Classic boys’ varsity basketball tournament, with seven of the eight team entries being from the local area. In the White Bracket, Excelsior Charter is the only school playing from outside Southwest Riverside County, hailing from the High Desert, while Linfield Christian, Perris, and Temecula Prep rounded out that side. In the Blue Bracket, Elsinore, Hemet, Murrieta Mesa, and Temecula Valley made up the other side

Pool play took place Saturday, Nov. 19, and Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 21-22, with Final games taking place Wednesday, Nov. 23. The final round saw Linfield Christian (5-0) take home the tournament title with a 65-46 win over Murrieta Mesa (4-1). Senior Mike McNair was the leading scorer for the Lions with 18 points. Xavier Cox scored 14, Julius Brower finished with 11, and Calem Costello scored 10 with a team high 7 rebounds.

Heading into that final tournament game Linfield Christian had outscored their opponents 233-69. The Rams outscored their opponents 203-143. League play for both teams does not start until 2023 where Linfield Christian (Ambassador) will open up at home against Arrowhead Christian (Jan. 6), and the Rams will also be home for their Southwestern League opener against Vista Murrieta, Wednesday, Jan. 4.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at