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Valley Christian girls roll into Division VI section championship game

By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Winning by 29 points usually means an excellent night for a basketball team, but the Valley Christian Academy Lady Lions still left something on the court Thursday.

Their 55-26 win over Marysville-New Life Christian secured a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship game Feb. 28 in Galt, but head coach Kim Contreras still feels the team has room for improvement.

New Life was undermanned with just six players on the roster but fought hard in the first quarter and trailed 9-4. Sophomore Lily Hagerty, who tied a section record by scoring 49 points in Valley Christian’s first-round victory over Napa-Trinity Prep, was bothered by an ankle injury but still finished with 27 points against New Life. Danielle Viglione of Del Campo set the section playoff record with 49 points against Vacaville-Will C. Wood in 1993.

“Our goal is that if you have missed shots, you’re supposed to shoot more,” Contreras said. “We didn’t do that this time. My girls have definitely gotta start shooting more. Lily’s ankle was bugging her, so you could tell that she didn’t push herself as much. Hopefully, that’s not going to affect us for (the championship game).”

The Lady Lions (16-9) began to break away in the second quarter, as Erika Lyon hit two three-pointers and Hagerty scored eight.

In the third, New Life had just one field goal, but Contreras was still disappointed with the execution on defense. Valley Christian performed worse in the final quarter, when New Life scored 12 and racked up six assists.

“It may have looked like the defense was there, but my girls definitely weren’t playing defense,” Contreras said. “They were very sluggish, and they weren’t playing disciplined defense. They got kind of lazy, kind of took it for granted.”

The second-seeded Lady Lions will play the winner between top-seeded Victory Christian and No. 4 Sac Country Day. Contreras hopes her young team, led by sophomores Hagerty and Jenny Frank, will be prepared. The healing of Hagerty’s ankle will be a big factor as well.

“The first thing is going to be mental,” Contreras said. “They are young. I’m definitely gonna have to get them mentally ready. Build up their confidence, work on the offense, work on the defense and make sure that we don’t get into a foul situation.”

 

VALLEY CHRISTIAN 55, NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN 26

 

New Life Christian (26)

Villafranco 5 0-0 10, Whiteley 1 0-0 2, Ramirez 1 0-0 2, Hruska 5 0-0 10, Moody 1 0-0 2, Juetten 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 0-0 26.

 

Valley Christian (55)

Hagerty 10 7-9 27, Magni 4 0-0 8, Flood 0 0-0 0, Frank 4 0-2 9, Lyon 3 0-0 9, Tyller 1 0-0 2, Bowen 0 0-0 0, Vechtomov 0 0-0 0, Page 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-11 55.

 

New Life Christian   4     8     2   12 — 26

Valley Christian       9   18   11   17 — 55

 

Three-point goals — Valley Christian 4 (Lyon 3, Frank). Rebounds — New Life 32 (Whiteley 12), Valley Christian 39 (Hagerty 11). Assists — New Life 9 (Hruska, Moody 3), Valley Christian 11 (Frank 4). Steals — New Life 2 (Whiteley, Moody), Valley Christian 27 (Frank 7).