Depth is something one associates with oceans, mines . . . and the Cleveland High basketball team.
Cleveland Coach Marc Paez, his team missing three starters, was sent digging into his bench Wednesday night and, as usual, discovered it was loaded with talented players itching for a chance to shake off some splinters.
Cleveland hardly missed a beat as it beat Crossroads, 74-57, in a nonleague game at Cleveland.
Cleveland (3-3) was without starters Vincent Herring (car trouble), Trenton Cornelius (illness) and Kenny Collins (sprained ankle). So Brandon Martin, Bobby McRae and Kayheed Murray started in their place with no noticeable decline in talent.
Martin finished with 13 points and five rebounds, and Murray had a team-high seven rebounds and scored eight points.
And what did Crossroads (0-4), a Southern Section 2-A Division school, bring to the party?
The Roadrunners had former UCLA and NBA performer Lucius Allen's son, Kahlil. But that was about all.
Crossroads started slowly as Cleveland's relentless press forced 14 turnovers. The Roadrunners took just six shots in falling behind, 21-4.
Crossroads, a once-proud basketball school that has fallen on hard times of late, had 20 turnovers by halftime and finished with a whopping 29.
"When you turn the ball over 25 times against a team like this, well, you see the score. That's what happens," first-year Coach Darryl Roper said.
Cleveland, which led, 46-26, at halftime and built its advantage to as much as 29 points in the third quarter, was paced by guard Eddie Hill with a game-high 19 points. Hill hit eight of nine field-goal attempts, including two three-point tries in the first period.
The Cavaliers jumped to a 19-2 lead, Martin, Murray and McRae accounting for 11 of the points. Hill finished with 10 points in the period and had 15 by halftime.
Allen, a 6-foot-2 junior, finished with a team-high 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds despite sitting out nearly half the game with foul trouble.