This past week of basketball games for Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) provided both excitement and unfortunate occurrences; teams coming together in victory and defeat.
After edging Faith Christian, 39-34, in the quarterfinal of the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics (VACA) South Region tournament Monday, the middle school successfully got into the semifinal match of the against Roanoke Valley Christian School (RVCS). But even with a 25-21 halftime lead, the Knights (10-3) fell to the Eagles, 37-34.
Evan Lawrence tallied 10 points, six assists and four steals, with Ethan Craig adding nine points, four rebounds.
“Our season didn’t end how we wanted it to, but I’m extremely proud of the boys and how hard they’ve worked this year to accomplish what they’ve accomplished,” head coach Tim Wilson said about the defeat.
For the varsity, the regular season ended at the midway point of last week with a 56-44 victory over Temple to close out the regular season. More importantly, it was Senior Night.
Bailey Rutrough and Lee Dickenson, the team’s lone seniors, started for the Knights (10-4) and jumpstarted their lineup to begin the game. After going up 25-15 by halftime, Rutrough’s team-leading 11 rebounds and Dickenson’s team-leading four steals made CHA’s punishing defense come to the forefront. The team finished with 32 total rebounds and 15 steals.
“Both [Dickenson and Rutrough] put in some solid minutes, and both made major contributions during the game,” Wilson said about his seniors.
Junior Matthew Bowden gave the Knights 28 points, with eight rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Ian Andersen contributed seven points, six rebounds to lead the offense.
“A solid team win,” Wilson added, “with everyone making solid contributions!”
The varsity’s victory secured CHA a No. 2 seed in the Southeast District for the upcoming VACA South Region Tournament. After receiving a first round bye, the Knights will host rival Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy in the quarterfinals at the Castle Mon., Feb. 12.
“We’re facing a tough opponent in Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy, but I know that we can secure the win if we play disciplined basketball,” Wilson said of the matchup. “We can’t fall into the trap of playing their style; we’ve got to stick to what works for us.
“I’m hoping we can carry the success that we’ve had in the regular season into post season, tournament play.”