Lions stay steady in SMAL, grind Buckingham Charter

By: Staff Report
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As it tries to stay on target for a season-ending league title rematch with Bradshaw Christian, the Valley Christian Academy boys basketball team got past another hurdle Friday night in Vacaville. The Lions fought off Buckingham Charter's desire to slow the tempo and won decisively 75-37. "Definite difference in style and approach between us and Buckingham," said Valley Christian coach Brad Gunter. "They try to grind you down and stall and are very good at it. Last year we lost at their place and this is one of the games I was very concerned about down the stretch." Gunter's concerns were dispelled before intermission. Following a high-scoring first quarter, at least by Buckingham standards, that ended with VCA leading 20-15, the Lions disposed of Buckingham Charter with a 25-point second stanza. While unleashing their potent offense, Valley Christian was just as impressive at the defensive end as it held Buckingham to just six points to take a 45-21 halftime lead. "We knew that our shot oppurtunities would be less then normal so we worked hard at practice on quality versus quantity," Gunter said. "It worked. We took 68 shots on the evening, but that is about 10 under our season average. We seemed to be in the right place at the right time all evening, and everything seemed to come together." The Lions did a nice job sharing the ball and getting those quality shots. "I told the boys that this might have been the most unselfish team game we have had all season," Gunter said. "We seemed to give up open shots to get the ball in the hand of hot shooters or closer attempts. Our bench played amazing down the stretch as they played most of the third and all of the fourth period. Rob Frank was red hot all night long as he hit 9-of-11 shots from the field for 21 points. Frank was 2-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc. Ryan Cordell was the leading scorer for Valley Christian with 23 points. The Lions improved to 9-1 in the SMAL and 19-4 overall. Lutheran High of Elk Grove is in town Tuesday night as VCA seeks a 20-win season. Sac Country Day will be the Friday night opponent, as the nation's leading high school scorer, Robbie Lemons comes to Valley Christian's Roseville campus.