Exhausted Valley Christian takes third in Redwood Classic
Valley Christian Academy had a rare basketball doubleheader Saturday, and with players exhausted, the Lions came back from an early 14-point deficit to beat Marin Academy 66-63 for third place in the Redwood Classic in Boonville.
The Lions lost to perennial state contender Branson of Ross 52-43 in the afternoon and trailed Marin Academy 22-8 after the first quarter.
“This game was a mental challenge, to say the least,” Lions coach Brad Gunter Jr. said.
Valley Christian gradually came back, and Gunter began making “hockey-style lineup changes” late in the third quarter, subbing five at a time to give his players rest.
Tied at 63, the teams traded turnovers, and Valley Christian called a time out with 11 seconds remaining. Gunter set up a play to isolate all-tournament choice Jason Gish against a “gassed” defender. Gish had the ball at the top of the key and fired a three-pointer with one second left. Swish.
“This was a huge step and win for our program,” Gunter said of the matchup of teams in the NorCal top 10 last season. “Now we have competed against one of the best and beaten one of the best and officially know that we can compete at that level.”
Gish scored 12 of his 28 points in the last three minutes. All-tournament choice Joey Parker had seven points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Aaron Perchaz had eight points and seven rebounds, and Jesse Peters had 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Earlier, Valley Christian led Branson by 10 with a minute left in the third period, but two three-pointers and a layup after a turnover erased the lead. Branson outscored the Lions 14-2 in the final quarter.
Parker had 13 points, five assists and five steals, and Peters had eight rebounds and four blocks.
The Lions advanced to the semifinals with an 84-49 victory over the California School for the Deaf. They opened with a 23-0 run and scored 36 points in the first quarter.
Gish scored 29 points, Parker had 14 points and 10 assists with no turnovers, and Peters had 11 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks. Also, Greg Ellis grabbed 17 rebounds, Perchaz scored 10 points and Micky DeFiebre eight.
In other tournaments:
Granite Bay girls – The Grizzlies lost to McClatchy 56-43 in the Christian Brothers 2K10 Classic. Granite Bay outrebounded McClatchy 26-20, and Shelbi Tooley scored 10 points. Cayley McDowell and Alexa Wolf each hit two three-pointers, but the Grizzlies lost Katrina Reeves to an ankle injury.
Granite Bay cut its turnovers to 22 one night after committing 38 against fast and physical River City in a 61-42 loss. McDowell and Wolf had nine points each, and Lindsay Nelson grabbed eight rebounds.
“Our issues right now are fixable,” coach Melissa Triebwasser said. “We only have one game (this) week, so we will get things turned around.”
Granite Bay JV – The Grizzlies won the Mira Loma Matador Madness Tournament with a 36-15 victory over Rio Americano in the final. Rio was scoreless in the second quarter. The Grizzlies defeated Cosumnes Oaks 60-34 and Golden Sierra 55-26 en route to the final. Freshmen Jennifer Manduca and Taylor Nelson are averaging 12.3 and 11.5 points.