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Valley Christian rolls over Sac Adventist

Lions face Foresthill on Friday; SMAL clash with Faith Christian looms Tuesday
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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They had an opportunity to meet in December, in the Don and Martha Price Tournament in Watsonville, but agreed not to, what with two Sacramento Metro Athletic League meetings on the horizon.

But meet they will come Tuesday, Yuba City-Faith Christian at Valley Christian Academy, both unbeaten in the SMAL.

"Now it's league, so I think both teams are really looking forward to the matchup," Valley Christian coach Brad Gunter Jr. said following Thursday night's 84-52 blowout of visiting Sacramento Adventist. "I think it's going to be a fun night."

Only Faith Christian has been tested in the SMAL, a 65-63 win over Vacaville-Buckingham Charter on Jan. 10. Faith is 15-2 overall and 4-0 in league. Valley Christian improved to 11-6 overall and 5-0 in the SMAL after exploding to an 80-36 lead over Sac Adventist (6-7, 2-3) through three quarters. The teams played the fourth period with a running clock because of the Lions' 40-point lead.

Daniel Lazaresku had a slam dunk three seconds into the game, and Valley Christian's running, swarming, ever-changing lineup, employing "The System," put up 32 three-pointers in three quarters and knocked down 12. Lazaresku scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Valley Christian had more offensive rebounds (21) than Sac Adventist's 17 total rebounds.

Gunter was of the opinion Faith Christian would try to run with the Lions on Tuesday night.

"I'm expecting a game that could be a total of 180, 190 points," he said. "We're going to go at it and see who can score the most on Tuesday night."

Jason Gish, who scored 36 points against Buckingham Charter on Jan. 13, had 16 against Sac Adventist. Senior guard Josh Flanagan made his first three three-point attempts and 4 of 8 overall in scoring 14 points. Josh Bowden grabbed seven rebounds, and Levi Hagerty grabbed all six rebounds on the offensive end.

After facing Foresthill on Friday night in a nonleague game, Valley Christian will be faced with stopping 6-foot-5 Faith Christian senior Blake Lavin, averaging 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and six assists per game; and 6-foot junior Micah Atkins, averaging 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Girls

Valley Christian 61, Sacramento Adventist 45--Valley Christian Academy’s freshman-heavy girls basketball team took its lumps in the nonleague portion of the season, but the youngsters are showing their improvement now.

The Lady Lions' big victory over the visiting Capitals (6-4, 3-2) vaulted them into sole possession of first place in the SMAL.

Valley Christian (6-10 overall, 4-1 SMAL) leads Yuba City-Faith Christian and Wilton Christian by a half game, and Faith visits the Lady Lions on Tuesday.

Senior Heather Frank led Valley Christian with 17 points, and freshmen Erika Lyon, Lily Hagerty and Jenny Frank combined for 34 points.

JV boys

Valley Christian 67, Sacramento Adventist 36 — Trailing 17-13 after a quarter, the Lions (12-6, 3-0) outscored the Capitals 26-2 in the second period. Micah Gunter hit four three-pointers and scored 19 points, and Hunter Fenn scored 14.