Sierra Lutheran boys fall at hands of undefeated Redding Christian
Though Sierra Lutheran boys basketball fell to Redding Christian Thursday night, 51-42, the Falcons had plenty to take away from a nine-point loss to a Lions squad still undefeated (11-0) this season.
The Falcons trailed 27-19 at the half, but were able to whittle the gap to one possession late in the third quarter.
Two free throws and a mid-range shot off the glass from Luke Schinzing left Sierra Lutheran down four early in the third quarter.
After the Lions buried a triple from the wing, Schinzing spun around a defender and deposited another bucket off the backboard.
On Redding Christian’s following possession, Stephen West poked a ball loose and took it the length of the floor for another basket.
West brought Sierra Lutheran within three, 30-27, midway through the third quarter.
Trailing 32-29 after an interior bucket from Johannes Lamprecht, Redding Christian answered with a triple on the other end.
The Lions hit two more free throws to push their lead back to eight by the end of the third quarter, 37-29.
It was as close as the Falcons got in the second half as the Lions held a steady 8-to-10 point lead the rest of the way.
For Sierra Lutheran and head coach Ben Walther, the loss showed where the Falcons were at after playing their fifth game in a six-day span.
“The identity we’re trying to instill in these guys is defense first,” said Walther. “I’m really happy with how we played.”
Not only was Redding Christian coming to town with a flawless 10-0 record, the Lions were also able to find mismatches with their size on the block.
The Lions’ leading scorer on the night was Drew Nelson-Crowell, who’s 6-10 frame gave him an edge on his way to a 16-point outing.
“I thought Hunter (Lamprecht) and Dom (Azevedo) did a really good job on him,” said Walther. “Sometimes the size you can’t help, but I was really proud of the fight they gave.”
Tight first half
Sierra Lutheran’s offense went back and forth with Redding Christian through the first quarter and part of the second.
Shawn Emm had four points, a steal and an assist in the opening quarter in which the Falcons and the Lions were knotted at 10-all after eight minutes.
Sierra Lutheran pushed out to a 14-10 lead early in the second after Schinzing assisted on back-to-back buckets from Shane Burkett.
Redding Christian quickly responded with six points via an and-one and a wing 3-pointer, putting together a 12-0 run to take a 22-14 lead.
“Especially before league, I’m trying to get these guys to understand rotation and the concepts of what we’re trying to do,” said Walther. “… When we don’t do that, it’s really obvious.”
The Lions held their edge the rest of the way as the Falcons fell to 5-6 overall with the loss.
Schinzing scored a team-high 13 points while Emm added nine points of his own. Lamprecht and Azevedo had six and five points, respectively.
UP NEXT: The Falcons have hit winter break and won’t play again until Jan. 7 when they host Smith Valley (1-7).