Valley Christian's girls basketball team is young. No seniors on a team that ran its record to 14-0 by completing the mauling of five opponents in its own holiday tournament.
Coach Scott Timmer's Division III squad gradually built its lead as the game with Gilbert Christian progressed Saturday afternoon and turned in a 61-22 rout to win the VC's 13th annual Girls Basketball Invitational.
“We don't have a senior and have five freshman,” Timmer said after his team wrapped up the 2013 portion of its 2013-2014 season. “Most of them play quite a bit. for us. These girls enjoy the game so much. They aren't worried about anything but having fun. They don't care who the leading scorer is, who is the captain. There is no drama. Any of those things. They want to go out and win as a team.”
Valley Christian plays a similar brand of basketball every year and the Lady Trojans didn't look much different than team of the past. Decent size, quick for the most part and swarming on defense. Gilbert Christian (12-3), a Division IV school, should do well in its division, but couldn't hang with Valley Christian for much more than a quarter, particularly wiithout its captain, Colleen Young, out injured.
Valley Christian bolted to a 16-6 lead after the first period behind getting five points from the coach's daughter, Megan, off the bench. Junior Ashley Koch and freshman Bethany Wolph combined for 15 of VC's 23 second-quarter points as the margin grew to 39-13 at the break.
Koch, a junior, led Valley Christian with 13 points. Sophomore Kaitlyn Bellerson and freshman Wolph added 12 points apiece. Freshman Megan Timmer had eight and junior Natalie Denk chipped in with seven. NIne of 10 VC players suited up scored.
As was the case in all its tournament games the past two days, a running clock was in effect in the final period. Valley Christian won its five games in the tournament by an average of 38 points. It defeated Holbrook, Round Valley, Tempe Prep and Sandra Day O'Connor in pool play prior to dispatching Gilbert Christian. Earlier this month, Valley Christiain traveled to Flagstaff and won the invitational there knocking off a solid team from the north in Page for that title.
Valley Christian earns a lot of its points off pressure defense, but showed itself quite capable in half-court sets. At times making too many passes to get what appeared to be a better shot,
“That's something we work on and have to get better at when it comes time for state,” Timmer said. “To win Division III, you have to be able to play a half-court game.”