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Valley Christian boys blow out New Life Christian

Lions win playoff opener, advance to face Forest Lake
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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A dominating second half performance carried the Valley Christian Academy boys basketball team to a 75-33 rout of New Life Christian (Marysville) in Wednesday night’s opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs. Though it entered the game as the lower-seeded team, Valley Christian, the No. 11 seed turned a 10-point halftime advantage into a 42-point final margin over on the court of New Life Christian, who came in as the No. 6 seed. “The first half showed that this was our first playoff game in three years,” said VCA coach Brad Gunter. “We had ample opportunity to separate ourselves in the first quarter, but failed to do so. One-on-one fastbreak layups were missed, missed open outside looks, and nervous turnovers prevented us from taking a controlling first quarter advantage.” The Lions took control of the contest in the third quarter, outscoring New Life 17-9 before closing with a loud statement in a 29-5 final stanza. “An 18-point lead went to a 36-point lead within the first minute and thirty seconds of the fourth,” Gunter said. “Yes, we scored 18 points in a minute and a half. After that we went to the bench to finish out the game. Our top six JV players were pulled up for the playoff run and came off the bench to score eight of the final eleven points.” Ryan Cordell ignited the fourth-quarter explosion, with three consecutive 3-pointers, and the junior guard scored 28 points in the game. Chris Parker added 12 and the rest of the scoring was spread across the team, with Jesse Peters adding seven and Orest Shaynyuk dropping in six. The win propels the Lions into the second round of the tourney for only the second time in school history. Valley Christian will visit No. 3 seed Forest Lake Christian (Auburn) at 7 p.m. Friday with a spot in the semifinals next week at Galt High School on the line.