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Valley Christian boys, girls go unbeaten in SMAL

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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GALT – Valley Christian Academy’s boys basketball team faced a Wilton Christian team suffering from illnesses. Valley Christian’s girls team also had several ill players.

Both scored huge victories Friday night.

The Valley Christian boys got in and out in a hurry, earning a running clock in the second half of a 72-35 victory over Wilton Christian at Galt High School. The Lady Lions earned a 57-51 decision over Wilton Christian.

Both teams finished the Sacramento Metro Athletic League campaign with perfect 12-0 records. Next up for both teams – the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs. The boys will have a home game Wednesday night. The Lady Lions are pretty sure they’ll have a home game as well, on Tuesday night.

The boys (23-3 overall) put up a 37-point first quarter and led 58-17 at halftime. Aaron Perchaz made a layup three seconds into the game and scored six of Valley Christian’s first eight points. Jason Gish scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first half, and Josh Flanagan scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter. The Lions shot 17 for 28 from the field in the first period, including several layups, and were 31 for 56 for the game.

Coach Brad Gunter Jr. said he knew Valley Christian had an advantage because Wilton Christian played Sacramento Adventist on Thursday night.

“I didn’t want any injuries. I didn’t want any sicknesses,” said Gunter, who heard buzz through the stands that three-quarters of the Patriots (7-13, 6-6) were sick. “I wanted to get it over in the first half. That was the goal, and then let’s be class acts in the second. So now, it’s just time to focus on playoffs.”

The Lions took just 15 shots in the second half and now will wait until Sunday to learn their opponent in the first round Wednesday.

Four starters were sick for the Valley Christian girls (22-4). Sam Shoemake was the lone healthy starter, and she scored 22 points. Under-the-weather leading scorer Carly Gish managed 22 points. Junior Heather Frank scored 10, and the Lady Lions overcame 29 points by Wilton Christian scoring machine Kendra Jeffcott.

“I’m so happy we finally pulled it through after all these seasons,” Valley Christian coach Kim Contreras said of the school’s first girls basketball league championship. “Just the perseverance, knowing eight minutes at a time. Let’s attack it. We went pressure the whole game … knowing they could pretty much rest up (today) and Sunday and then come back strong ready to practice Monday.”

Valley Christian 72, Wilton Christian 35
Valley Christian (72)

Gish 7-14 0-1 15, Perchaz 3-5 0-0 6, Peters 4-8 1-2 9, DeFiebre 0-0 0-0 0, Parker 2-4 1-1 5, Kobzeff 2-2 2-2 6, Ellis 0-1 0-0 0, J. Flanagan 4-6 0-0 10, J. Bowden 3-3 0-0 6, Tyller 1-2 0-0 2, C. Bowden 1-1 1-1 3, Hagerty 2-5 0-1 5, Lazaresku 2-3 0-0 5, Flood 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-56 5-8 72.
Wilton Christian (35)
Welch 4-14 2-3 11, Petersen 0-4 0-0 0, Campbell 3-9 2-5 8, Cody Lewis 0-5 1-2 1, Cole Lewis 0-3 1-2 1, Vogt 0-1 0-0 0, Dees 4-16 3-4 14, F. Flanagan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-53 9-16 35.

Valley Christian    37  21    5  9 – 72
Wilton Christian    6   11  11  7 – 35


Three-point goals – Valley Christian 5-13 (J. Flanagan 2-4, Gish 1-4, Hagerty 1-1, Lazaresku 1-2, Flood 0-2), Wilton Christian 4-20 (Dees 3-10, Welch 1-2, Petersen 0-4, Cody Lewis 0-2, Cole Lewis 0-2). Rebounds – Valley Christian 47 (Peters 11), Wilton Christian 18 (Campbell 6). Assists – Valley Christian 13 (Parker 4), Wilton Christian 7 (Welch 3). Turnovers – Valley Christian 21, Wilton Christian 19.