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Valley Christian earns No. 2 seed in Division VI girls playoffs

Oakmont girls, Roseville and Granite Bay boys join Lady Lions
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Valley Christian Academy’s girls basketball team has grown up fast.

The Lady Lions went 2-9 in nonleague games, but losing to bigger schools didn’t stunt the growth of a team dominated by underclassmen; it strengthened them. The result is the best seeding in school history for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

Valley Christian (14-9) went 12-0 in the Sacramento Metro Athletic League and earned the No. 2 seed in Division VI. The Lady Lions will play host to Napa-Trinity Prep (17-5) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“I am proud,” coach Kim Contreras said. “In preseason, we played against much higher divisions and more talented teams. All it did was make my girls grow. It really pulled them together. They were sick of losing, and they wanted to go after some victories, and they did.”

Unselfish Emily Flood, one of three seniors on the team, “has no problems getting the ball to one of her teammates,” Contreras said. Sophomore Lily Hagerty averages 20.1 points with an inside/outside game. Sophomore Erika Lyon averages 10.4 points and “shoots the three from anywhere, and she has an incredible little runner.” Junior Grace Magni averages 8.2 points with an unorthodox shot, “but it goes in.”

Added Contreras that Valley Christian couldn’t do it without sophomore Jenny Frank (8.7 points), saying, “She gets the ball up and sees the passes she needs to see.”

Valley Christian is one of four local teams in the playoffs. Oakmont is the only other girls team, the No. 12 seed in Division III. The Vikings (19-8) will travel to play No. 5 Patterson on Tuesday.

The Tigers (23-2) have lost only to Division I No. 14 seed Modesto-Enochs and Division V top seed Stockton-Brookside Christian and rolled through the Western Athletic Conference with a 12-0 record.

“This is like the NCAA Tournament,” Oakmont coach Zach Lovell said. “Once we’re in, anything can happen. We’re shooting to play our best basketball of the season at the right time.”

Among the boys, Roseville (20-7) earned the No. 15 seed in Division II and will play host to No. 18 El Camino (15-10) in an outbracket game at 7 p.m. today. And, Sierra Foothill League champion Granite Bay (19-8) earned the No. 5 seed in Division I and will play host to No. 12 Vallejo-Bethel (14-13) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

It’s a rematch of the 2012 playoffs and a reversal of seeds. Bethel, seeded No. 5 last season, defeated No. 12 Granite Bay 81-62 in the first round.

This time around, Granite Bay topped a competitive SFL and claimed the title outright with a physical 73-60 victory at Rocklin on Tuesday night.

“This was a great tuneup,” coach Jason Sitterud said after the game. “The playoffs started tonight for us.”

Granite Bay’s seniors took the lead, and their teammates followed. Quick guard Sherron Bradford scored all 16 of his points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Daniel Romero came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Jacob King scored seven of his 12 points in the third quarter and totaled five assists, and Anthony Pedersen scored seven of his 11 points in the first period and totaled six rebounds and four assists. Center Scott Romuk had six rebounds and two assists.

“I’m ecstatic for our seniors,” Sitterud said. “They worked so hard. They earned success. They deserve success.”

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.

Note: The complete boys and girls playoff schedules can be found at www.placersports.com.