Abracadabra! Poof! There’s an LCA Christian school basketball team.

Posted on 15. Feb, 2014 by in sports

Christian school basketball

From left, Rob Ashcraft, Adrian Brizuela, Michael Moore, Shane Berry, two unknown guys, Justin Berry and Alex Cervantes

GARDENA — First there was talk. Then a team formed. A coach stepped forward. They entered a league. And on Saturday night, the LCA Christian school basketball team won its third straight game.

Sophomore Michael Moore was dominant, scoring 21 points and stealing a number of balls. Fellow sophomore Adrian Brizuela, whose ball-handling usually is with mitts as goalie on the soccer field, showed b-ball prowess, scoring 10 points.

Santa Monica Christian school basketball

Coach Ken Berry addresses his team of Christian school basketball.

In order to pull this rabbit out of the hat, Lighthouse Christian Academy resorted to characteristic flexibility and creativity. With students enrolled with a passion for the court, LCA adminstrators said “yes” but wouldn’t be able to enroll the team in CIF league to face other schools. So instead, the kids joined the Westchester YMCA and play other YMCAs around LA. It’s a springboard to a full-fledged team to join school leagues. (Christian school basketball joins football, soccer, volleyball and swimming as LCA’s sports offerings.)

Christian school basketball launches at LCA

And the students are loving it. “It’s good to have a basketball team,” Adrian said. “I like soccer best because I’m good at it and I see myself going farther in soccer in the future. But playing basketball gives me something to do to stay fit when soccer is over. Plus I like to play with friends.”

hard fought high school basketball game

Shane Berry (right) congratulates his fellow players after the hard-fought high school basketball game.

The Westchester YMCA #2 Team — aka “the Saints,” since most of the players from LCA and Lighthouse Church Middle School — took an early lead and looked to flatten their opponents right from the start. At the tip off, Adrian sent the ball to Michael, who fast-footed it into a layup and scored within seconds. Throughout the first half (which last 20 minutes), Michael and sophomore Shane Berry maintained a high pressure, and the Gardena YMCA team had trouble getting out of its half.

But by working screens and long passes, Gardena fought its way back into the game. By halftime, LCA was winning 23-20.

In the second half, Gardena came out shooting 3-pointers while the Saints fumbled and  misfired. For a few minutes, Gardena was winning.

But then Coach Ken Berry ordered his boys to play higher defense to shutdown the 3-pointers and force Gardena to drive the ball, a skill they did less well. The Saints snuffed out the comeback and won 44-34.

Creative player Shane scored 9 points, made 3 rebounds and 2 assists.


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