Valley Christian JV team also roars, wins SMAL crown
A team that began the basketball season scoring in the 50s finished by scoring in the 80s and joined its varsity teams in winning a league championship.
Valley Christian Academy’s junior varsity team defeated Sacramento Adventist 83-35 and Faith Christian 75-69 to win the Sacramento Metro Athletic League playoffs and claim its third league title in a row.
The SMAL began holding a playoff tournament last season, and Valley Christian has hosted both years. School is let out so the students can watch the games.
“That added a lot of energy and excitement each year,” said Lions JV coach Mike Parker, the father of Valley Christian varsity point guard Joey Parker.
The Lions took a 35-8 lead in the first quarter against Sac Adventist, as freshman guard Nick Dillman scored 10 of his game-high 16 points. Levi Hagerty finished with 15 points, center Jimmy Shaw 13 and Michael Shaynyuk 12.
“We really developed our fast-break game as the season progressed and were really peaking at this time,” Parker said.
Valley Christian and Faith Christian split two games in the regular season. Though the Lions led 26-14 at the end of the first period and 57-42 after three quarters, Faith closed the gap to four with 30 seconds remaining. Dillman clinched the victory with two free throws.
Brian Alvarez scored 10 of his 24 points in the third quarter, and Teagan Mowry scored 14 of his 20 in the first period. Dillman had 16 points and was the Lions’ leading scorer this season at 16.6 per game. Shaw averaged 10 points.
Valley Christian finished with a 16-6 overall record. Four losses came against larger public schools.
The Lions came from 15 down in the fourth quarter and won 82-81 in double overtime in the consolation final at the Forest Lake tournament in December.
“At that point, I knew the team had heart and a never-quit attitude,” Parker said.
Del Oro 64, Granite Bay 63 – The Grizzlies (22-3, 9-1 Sierra Foothill League) came up short in their bid for a perfect league season and shared the SFL title with the Golden Eagles (24-3, 9-1). They split the season series with each winning on the road.
Anthony Pedersen led Granite Bay with 22 points, and Daniel Romero had 14 points and nine rebounds. Sherron Bradford and Aiden Naughton each had eight points and six rebounds.
Granite Bay started its week with a 59-46 victory over visiting Rocklin. Bradford and Jacob King each scored 13 points, and Romero grabbed 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who pulled away from a 25-21 halftime lead.
Roseville splits last two – The Tigers (10-12, 3-7) lost to Nevada Union 52-24 and defeated Granite Bay 35-23 in their last two games.
Roseville’s Summer Muir combined for 19 points in the two games, including 10 against Granite Bay, and Sierra Alejandrez totaled 10 points. Natalia Espino also scored 10 points against Granite Bay, which the Tigers held to two points in the second period.