Lions are feasting in the red zone

Valley Christian keeps winning, so coach keeps his beard dyed; Lady Lions roll over Wilton Christian to 6-0 start in SMAL
By: Kayla Nix/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Coach Brad Gunter Jr. isn’t sporting a hefty dark red beard for nothing.
Host Valley Christian Academy recorded its sixth consecutive Sacramento Metro Athletic League win in fine fashion Friday night, pounding Wilton Christian 90-51.

Gunter said he agreed to dye his beard red, as opposed to his usual gray, and let it grow if the team reached the top 10 in the rankings. Valley Christian now is ranked 10th so Gunter’s fate was sealed and the beard keeps growing as the Lions keep winning.

“We found out (last) week we’re on the bubble for state rankings in Division V for CalHi Sports, and that’s the first time in school history,” Gunter said.

Valley Christian Academy (17-3, 6-0 SMAL) put up 20 points to Wilton Christian’s 11 in the first quarter and kept its offense going.

“Our biggest thing was we wanted to run their legs out in the first half. That was the ultimate goal, to get their legs,” Gunter said. “They’re so talented, especially with their guards, if you leave them in it they can hit from anywhere on the floor.”

That game plan worked. The Lions led 43-24 at halftime and didn’t let up.

“They’re actually a really good basketball team,” Gunter said of Wilton Christian (5-11, 4-3). “The problem is, they’re not that deep.”

The Lions, however, are very deep. Jason Gish made five three-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points, and reserve Jeremy Tyller took over in the fourth quarter and scored 14 of his 20 points.

“His athleticism is off the chart,” Gunter said. “Now that we’re 20 games into the season, he’s starting to catch on. The reality is, he’s our 10th man. But when our 10th man has that much athleticism, it makes it very, very, very nice. He’s able to come in and make an impact quick.”

Varsity girls
Valley Christian 68, Wilton Christian 53
– The Lady Lions went into Friday night’s game down four players and facing a Patriots team that didn’t lose a game in the Harvest Christian League the last four seasons.

But Carly Gish scored a career-high 39 points, and Midori Bounds helped hold Wilton Christian’s Kendra Jeffcott to 14 points, 6.9 below her season average, as the Lady Lions improved to 16-4 overall, the best start in school history, and 6-0 in the SMAL.

“(Bounds) did an incredible job defending (Jeffcott) and not fouling while Carly Gish handled the job of offense,” Lady Lions coach Kim Contreras said.

Gish made five three-pointers, and Heather Frank made 10 of 10 at the free-throw line and scored 18 points. Sam Shoemake scored eight points.

“It feels good to be at the number one spot in the league, and we are hoping to maintain this momentum through the second half,” Contreras said.

Woodcreek 49, Rocklin 39 – Fia Hoskinson scored six of her seven points during an early run that helped the Timberwolves (14-8, 3-2 Sierra Foothill League) take a 9-0 lead over the Thunder (13-9, 3-2).

Joleen Chanco scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half for Woodcreek and shut out Joie Camalo in the fourth quarter. Camalo scored 16 points in the first three periods. Chanco started the third quarter with three baskets and scored nine of the Timberwolves’ 12 points in the period. She was 5 for 6 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and 10 for 14 overall.

Sammy Gonzalez scored nine points on three three-pointers, one with 2:30 left in the game and the shot clock expiring.

Del Campo 49, Oakmont 38 – The Vikings (13-9, 0-5 Capital Valley Conference ) trailed 28-16 at halftime in their loss to the Cougars (9-13, 1-4). Shelby Kelch led Oakmont with 13 points.

Valley Christian Academy 90, Wilton Christian 51
Wilton Christian (51)

Dees 3 0-0 8, Campbell 2 0-0 4, Cody Lewis 4 1-3 9, Cole Lewis 3 0-0 9, Welch 6 2-3 14, McCormick 2 0-0 5, Flanagan 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 3-6 51.
Valley Christian (90)
Parker 2 2-6 6, Peters 0 2-2 2, Gish 7 2-2 21, Perchaz 3 3-4 9, DeFiebre 1 0-0 2, Flanagan 2 0-0 5, Kobzeff 2 0-0 5, Tyller 10 0-1 20, Ellis 3 2-3 8, J. Bowden 1 0-0 2, C. Bowden 1 0-0 3, Hagerty 2 0-0 4. Totals 34 11-18 90.

Wilton Christian   11   13   15   12 – 51
Valley Christian    20   23   24   23 – 90

Three-point goals – Wilton Christian 6 (Cole Lewis 3, Dees 2, McCormick 1), Valley Christian 8 (Gish 5, Flanagan 1, Kobzeff 1, C. Bowden 1).