4A and 5A get all the press. The Republic does cover stories on Mesa and Desert Vista. The D1 schools come around and the hype gets built up and sometimes you would think that they don't even play the games at the 2A level. That nobody cares.
You would be very, very wrong.
To call Valley Christian's
gym a packed house would be to make the mother of all understatements. The gym
comfortably fits probably 300 people.
There must have been 500 there
Friday night. And not just any 500 either. Not just the parents of the kids, not
just the alumni of the school. The most rabid of fans turned out Friday. They
came early, they stayed late, they cheered and the leapt to their feet. They
screamed at the officials and they lived and died with every dribble. It was
almost exactly half SCA red and half VC blue.
Electric isn't the
Lightning isn't the word.
Frenzy is starting to get
When Scottsdale Christian Academy and Valley Christian High School
match up, all bets are off, this year in particular. SCA came into Friday
undefeated at with 16 wins and was the favorite due in large part to their huge
front line featuring 6'6" senior Alex Rogers, 6'7" Sophomore Kevin Coble and 6'7
Junior Nkem Ojougboh. Add to the mix the best point guard in 2A Tim Maiden and
SCA can (and has) competed with the best in the state regardless of
But somebody forgot to tell the 18-0 Valley Christian team
they were supposed to lose.
And maybe they forgot to tell VC's Bryan
Botma that Maiden was the best PG in 2A, but I doubt it, in fact, I'm sure
they've told him many times.
Botma just didn't believe them.
senior floor general exploded for a game high 30 points in Valley Christian's
62-53 win Friday night, igniting the Trojans offensively and defensively, and
stepping up in the clutch hitting all ten of his 4th quarter free
"They are such a smart team," SCA's Alex Rogers said after the
loss. "They adapted to us all night, we got caught up in the crowd, caught up in
the moment, and they just played smart team basketball."
providing nearly half the offense Rogers was right. VC's offensive sets were
pristine Friday, and Botma was open continually during the game. He hit from
beyond the arc (hitting five threes), driving to the basket, and from the line
(11 of 12 for the game).
But as strange as it sounds, it was Botma's
defense that really carried his team. After building up a twenty-point lead
early in the third quarter SCA rallied behind Maiden who scored the final five
points of the period to cut the lead to 14.
When the teams took the
floor in the fourth VC Head Coach Greg Haagsma moved Botma onto Maiden and
suddenly the lane wasn't quite as open for the SCA point guard. It was then time
for Chris Osborn to come off the bench and spark the Eagles on a 22-8 run that
would bring SCA to within five with just under 2:00 to play.
It was time
for the best player on the court to step forward, and on this night the best
player on the court, far and away, was Bryan Botma. VC put the ball in the
senior's hands and Botma took care of it. Without the hope of a steal SCA was
forced to foul, but when one point guard has the ball logic dictates the other
point guard is going to have to foul him.
Maiden picked up his forth at
1:58; he would foul out just 33 seconds later. Botma stepped to the line time
after time in the final frame and drained free throws in the clutch, never
wavering, occasionally smiling. He knew he was carrying his team to victory, and
while any victory is a good one, when archrival SCA (and the much-hyped Maiden)
is the opponent, the win is that much sweeter.
It seems fitting that
these two schools will meet again in February, for the last game of the regular
season. The expectations will be even higher then, and the outcomes might very
well be different that night. But it won't end then either.
VC is #1,
Botma is tops at PG, and there is no disputing those two facts.
But for SCA there is always February sixth, and after that there is
always the state tournament.
Valley Christians Brian Botma Drops 30 on SCA!
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