Season ends for young Valley Christian girls team

By: Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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The odds were stacked against them from the start.

The Valley Christian Academy girls basketball team returned one player this season – senior Heather Frank – but nearly a half-dozen others helped the Lions reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Their run, however, ended Tuesday night with a 68-39 loss to top-seeded Victory Christian in Carmichael.

Valley Christian was expected to finish around .500 at best, as 10 new players made the jump to varsity. Junior Emily Flood became the second returning player when she joined at midseason.

A three-game tournament in Watsonville turned around the Lions’ 2-6 record.
Choking back her tears, Frank tried to put it into words.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” the four-year varsity player said. “They have come such a long way. I didn’t think we’d be good at all. They had no experience. We had no chemistry together. We were always the underdogs in every game we played. We bonded really well (in Watsonville) and created a lot of memories. I’ve tried to leave all my knowledge and basketball experience here with them.”

Frank led both teams with 17 points in her final game. Lily Hagerty scored eight and Erika Lyon seven.

Valley Christian finished 10-15 overall and 8-4 in the Sacramento Metro Athletic League. The Lions lost their last two league games and dropped to the No. 8 seed, which pitted them against Victory.

Kim Contreras, Valley Christian's coach for six years, hoped to finish league play with an even record.

“I can’t complain at all. This season was much more than I could have expected from them,” Contreras said.

Two more seniors – Britni Daniels and team manager Shelby Anderson – played their last game with the Lions.

Valley Christian will return all but its three seniors next season.