Valley Christian clinches share of league title
Valley Christian Academy clinched a share of the Sacramento Metro Athletic League title with a 69-56 victory Thursday night at Sacramento Adventist.
A win over Faith Christian on Tuesday night in Yuba City or Wilton Christian on Friday would give the Lions (21-3 overall, 10-0 SMAL) the outright championship, but they want more.
“We would love to win both and see if we can jump to the No. 3 seed headed into playoffs,” coach Brad Gunter Jr. said.
The host Capitals (12-6, 5-5) battled Valley Christian to a 29-29 halftime deadlock, and the Lions took a 46-42 lead into the final period.
Gunter said the Lions didn’t adjust to Sac Adventist’s defense before establishing an inside offense late, which freed the guards. The Lions pressed all game, and the Capitals eventually began missing shots, which led to fast breaks for Valley Christian.
“The main twist on the halftime speech was a challenge to the team to make the adjustments and let’s accept the challenge and overcome,” Gunter said. “We came out in the second half and performed much better. Lanes started to open up as the game got closer to the finish.”
Sac Adventist hit eight three-pointers, many with the shot clock under five seconds.
“The nice thing was we never panicked and took on the challenge and executed down the stretch in the half-court game,” Gunter said. “Even with them trying to slow tempo, we were able to put up 69 points … and had many opportunities to score more than that. This might be the greatest thing for us as we prepare for playoffs.”
Jason Gish led the Lions with 28 points, and Kris Kobzeff had 11 points and nine rebounds. Joey Parker had six points, eight assists and six of Valley Christian’s 13 steals, and Jesse Peters had six points and seven rebounds. Greg Ellis had two crucial blocked shots late in the game.
Rocklin 76, Roseville 71 – Sophomore Marcus Garcia scored 20 points for the Tigers (9-15, 1-6 Sierra Foothill League) in their loss to the host Thunder (9-15, 3-4). Roseville outscored Rocklin 27-26 in a wild fourth quarter but came up short.
“They had a few balls bounce their way,” Tigers coach Greg Granucci said. “I’m proud of the way we played.”
Nick Blaser just missed a triple double with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Tigers. Sophomore Cole Jacobs had nine assists and seven steals, Andrew Schmidt had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Trey Rosenberg had nine points and 13 rebounds.
Granite Bay 70, Nevada Union 56 – Tied at 26 at halftime, the visiting Grizzlies (21-3, 6-1 SFL) pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Miners (9-12, 2-5). Robert Duncan led Granite Bay with 18 points. Nate Brillington scored 17, and Jacob Keys had 16 points and four assists. Kyle Howarth grabbed seven rebounds.
Two more wins for Granite Bay – The Grizzlies defeated Woodcreek 67-49 and Nevada Union 60-55. Daniel Romero scored 14 points in each game and grabbed nine rebounds against Woodcreek. Scott Romuk had 12 points and six rebounds against Woodcreek, and Sherron Bradford scored 11 points. The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 50-19 in the middle two quarters to erase a 13-7 deficit.
Anthony Pedersen scored 20 points against Nevada Union. The game was tied 47-47 after three quarters. Pederson, Romuk, Jacob King and Matt Ciraulo each had four rebounds.