Village Christian Dominant in the Paint in Victory over Flintridge Prep


The Village Christian Crusaders were nearly unstoppable in the paint during their Wednesday night matchup against the visiting Flintridge Prep Wolves. Both teams entered the contest with strong records, and are unblemished in their respective leagues. Junior forward Layla Davis paced the Crusaders with 32 points in a dominating performance as they came away with a 73-55 victory. Junior Bryanne Lopez-wood added 10 points and three other Crusaders finished with 6 points each. The Wolves were led by senior point guard Ashley Chea, who challenged Village’s defensive back court throughout the game, and finished with 21 points. Senior Maddie Smith contributed 14 points in the losing effort, and two other Wolves finished with 9 points.

The first quarter was a back and forth battle between the two first-place teams. Davis was establishing her presence on the inside, while the guard play for Flintridge Prep was giving the Crusaders fits. “In the first half, we just kept on reaching,” said coach Jon Sampang of the Crusaders difficulties on the defensive end in the first half, “we weren’t sliding over being in the help. In the second half we tried to load up and get the ball out of (Chea’s) hands.” The first quarter ended with Village up by three points, 23-20.

The Crusaders defense tightened up after the first quarter, holding Flintridge to 15 points in the second quarter, and Chea to just 4. Village continued to own the paint throughout the quarter as Davis scored 8 of her 32 points followed by Loped-wood’s 6 points. The Crusaders used this advantage to push their lead to 44-34 at the halftime buzzer.

The aggressive back court of Flintridge led by Chea continued to attack the Village defenders and, by doing so, found themselves in the bonus well before the quarter ended. The Wolves took advantage of the opportunities, going 6-7 from the free throw line. Unfortunately for them, it was just about all they could do on the offensive end, as the Crusaders defense held them to 10 points in the period. The Village offense, however, once again made the paint their home, led by Davis’ 10 points.

As the Crusaders lead started to grow to 15 points, the Wolves began to employ a full-court press on defense in an attempt to turn the ball over and cut into the deficit. The Village passing was able to get into the frontcourt without too much trouble, and they ended the quarter up 63-44. From there Sampang rested his starters, and the defensive pressure began to work in the fourth quarter.

Ultimately, Flintridge was unable to chip into the deficit and fell by 18 points for just their second loss on the season. Village improved to 13-5 overall. Next up for the Crusaders is a trip to Cerritos to face Valley Christian in an Olympic League contest on Friday night. Tip-off is currently scheduled for 6:00pm

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