Monday, January 14, 2013
The St. John’s Christian Academy Cavaliers have become an unstoppable force among the SCISA basketball ranks.
Buoyed by a 9-0 run to start the game, the Cavaliers cruised to a 56-27 win over SCISA Region 3 rival Faith Christian before a packed house at the SJCA gym Friday.
“We were a little rusty and our timing was off during the game, but we had good legs and got a great defensive effort,” said St. John’s Coach Bob Winters.
In the twin-bill opener the SJCA Lady Cavaliers improved to 3-9 with a convincing 54-18 over the Lady Knights.
Jenna O’Dell led the Lady Cavs with 18 points to pace SJCA. O’Dell also pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out 8 assists.
“This was our first real test against a school our size,” said Lady Cavs Coach Chris Pouyat. “All over games so far this season has been against much larger 2A and 3A schools. We are very ready for the second half of the season and the region schedule to begin.”
The boys’ win was the eighth straight for St. John’s, which has not lost since a Dec. 4 54-44 defeat at the hands of Palmetto Christian Academy.
The alleged rust was the result of taking off the entire Christmas break and giving his athletes a much needed two-week rest.
“It gave our guys a chance to finally rest after a grueling 13 week football season and then jumping immediately into basketball,” Winters said. “We were tired and fatigued by mid-December.
“Friday night looked like the first game of the season and in a way it was.”
The Cavaliers didn’t play like they were coming back from any break, jumping out to a quick 9-0 lead to close out the first quarter on top 16-3 behind seven points by Mike Lewis. Lewis would lead all scorers with 23 points for the night.
After taking a 26-15 lead into the locker room the Cavaliers exploded for a second 16-3 run in the third quarter to put the game away.
“The race is on now for the region championship and we took a big step in that direction by defeating Faith,” Winters said.
Damian Hurta chipped eight points and Jalen Ward seven to help lead SJCA, and Greg Gamble and his nine points left him one point from a rare triple-double with 24 rebounds and 17 blocks.
“I thought that Greg Gamble dominated the game with his 24 rebounds and 17 blocked or altered shots. It’s a great example of how a player can determine the outcome of a game without scoring a ton of points.”
Josh Rogers led Faith Christian with 11 points and Theron Reddy added 10 to lead the Knights.
Both teams ended the week’s play with identical 8-3 records with SJCA holding serve in Region 3 with a 3-0 record.
“We share the ball as well as any team I have ever coached,” Winters said. “We have playmakers, shooters, rebounders and shot blockers. What else could a coach ask for, except better defense?”