Leave no doubt: Redding Christian girls dominate own tournament

Redding Christian Girls pose before beginning their 2018-19 season Friday night.

The Redding Christian girls basketball team won its own tournament over the weekend, beating Hayfork, Hosanna Christian and American Christian Academy by a combined average of 34 points per game over the weekend.

In the opener, Redding Christian beat Hayfork 57-14. The Lions came into the season with a lot of hope with so much experience back, but also questions as the team relied greatly on the 21 points and 6 steals per game from Livi Lindsey, who is now competing with Northwest University, and the 3-point shooting and defense of departed seniors Jaycie Provence and Lisa Manning. Those questions were answered emphatically as the Lion girls crushed Hayfork 57-14.

The Lions (1-0) cruised to a 38-4 halftime lead as their relentless defense got 22 steals, and innumerable deflections and poor shots forced.  Without a star player, the Lions relied first on fast breaks off of steals and quick outlets from rebounds, and second on effective ball movement and inside-out offense.  This all worked to perfection against Hayfork, as post players Sammie Wunner (9 points) and Katherine Sze (8 points) effectively applied post moves when they were there, and passed to outside shooters when they were not.  Sadie Alexander scored 14 points, including 4 for 4 on 3-pointers, Aleah Matos scored 6, and Jackie Matos scored 7, while Courtney and Kaylee Jones scored six apiece, mostly on fast breaks after steals. Avery Marshall added 2 points, meaning all eight players scored in the opening game.

Courtney Jones and Wunner added six steals apiece, and Kaylee Jones added five steals, and Alexander 5 more, and Hayfork never got comfortable in their offense.

In the second half, the Lions began to slow the pace, focusing on running their offense and improving their ball movement, but even without actively going for steals, the Lions defense pressured Hayfork into poor shot selection and maintained the lead.

Redding Christian 45, Hosanna Christian 30

The Redding Christian Lions girls team won a matchup with the Hosanna Christian Lions of Klamath Falls, Ore., at their home tournament Saturday 45-30. Hosanna Christian, a quarterfinalist in last years Oregon State 1A tournament, cut the lead to  with 5:25 to play, but the Lions finished strong and won by 15.

Redding Christian 63, American Christian 17

Redding Christian Girls Basketball team concluded their home tournament with a 63-17 victory over American Christian.  The Lions led by just 10 at the end of the first, but pulled away in each quarter to win big.  With a 3-0 tournament record, the Lions won their home tournament.  The Lions Varsity Girls team will next see action next week in the Calistoga tournament.

Below are the scores and standings from the round-robin format:

Game 1:  Hayfork 49 McCloud 21
Game 2:  American Christian 37 John Adams Academy (Roseville) 31
Game 3:  Hosanna Christian 62 McCloud 25
Game 4:  Redding Christian 57 Hayfork 14
Game 5:  Hayfork 31 John Adams Academy 18
Game 6:  Redding Christian 45 Hosanna Christian 30
Game 7:  Hayfork 25 American Christian 18
Game 8:  John Adams Academy 29 McCloud 7
Game 9:  Redding Christian 63 John Adams Academy 17
Tournament Standings:  Redding Christian 3-0, Hayfork 3-1, Hosanna Christian 1-1, American Christian 1-2, John Adams Academy 1-2, and McCloud 0-3.

About Wil Keepers

Wil Keepers is a teacher, coach, and more recently writer, who teaches Science and coaches Track and Cross Country at Redding Christian. He has eighteen years of experience as a teacher, twelve years experience as a cross country coach, nine years experience as a track coach, and six years coaching middle school basketball.. He began writing four years ago and has written a self-published historical fiction novel, and is almost 100 pages into a second one. In January of 2018, he began writing sports articles for the online East Valley Times and in August began writing for Shasta County Sports. He has been married for 21 years, and has a daughter at Shasta College and two daughters at Redding Christian School.

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