James Christian realizes what he needs to accomplish in order to provide a spark for the St. Monica Academy boys’ basketball team.
That would include rebounding on both ends of the court and to score after collecting an offensive rebound.
Christian met all expectations Wednesday, as he scored nine points and added 12 rebounds to propel visiting St. Monica to a 34-25 nonleague victory against host Glendale Adventist Academy.
Christian made a huge difference for the Crusaders (8-4), who held off a late comeback bid by the rejuvenated Cougars (3-10).
The forward grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup to give St. Monica a 33-24 lead with 2:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“That play gave us back the momentum and I like to crash the boards when I can,” said Christian, who also had there steals. “I think we were able to settle down after they made a come back.
“The big thing was getting the win and giving my teammates chances.”
Glendale Adventist struggled for most of the first three quarters with its shooting. The Cougars missed their first eight shots of the game and could muster just 14 points entering the fourth quarter.
However, Glendale Adventist regrouped and trimmed the deficit to 27-22 on a basket by Aaron Wong with 5:05 left in the fourth quarter.
"[Glendale Adventist] made a comeback in the fourth quarter and James got that put back for a basket; that turned out to be huge,” said St. Monica Coach Peter Grimm, who received 10 points and nine rebounds from James Grimm and 10 points and eight rebounds from Abraham Lemon. “Their little run died after that. We struggled a little bit today after coming back from the holiday break and we had heavy legs.
“James is just more than a rebounder. He can do a lot of other things well and it’s about realizing how good he can be.”
St. Monica jumped out to an 9-0 lead after Christian grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
Glendale Adventist got on the board on a basket by Anthony Avadesian with 1:40 to go in the quarter to make it 11-2.
Christian scored a basketball off a nice pass from Ernie Grimm to give St. Monica a 22-8 lead with 2:16 to play in the second quarter.
St. Monica held a 22-9 halftime advantage.
Each squad scored five third-quarter points, as St. Monica led, 27-14, entering the fourth quarter.
Nick Dorsey paced Glendale Adventist Academy with six second-half points.
“I thought we played better in the second half and we gave ourselves a chance,” said Glendale Adventist coach Chris Lindstadt, who got eight points and 10 rebounds from Dorsey and six points from Andrew Tobola. “We need to focus more on how to run our offense and we get it down to five points before it gets back to 10 points.
“We’ve also got to cut down on the turnovers. We have gotten a couple of guys back from injuries recently, so we’ll have a much better rotation.”