The Asheville Christian Academy boys basketball team returned to action after their Thanksgiving break with a 62-61 win over Word of God Academy.
Located in Raleigh, Word of God is perennially one of the top teams in the state and has produced two NBA players and multiple NCAA Division I athletes over the years. The Lions took on the Rams in the Phenom Hoop Thanksgiving Showcase in Fayetteville. The event boasted three nationally ranked teams and a two day slate of highly competitive games.
ACA found themselves trailing by 12 points midway through the second quarter but the Lions shifted offensive strategy and played a small lineup that quickly changed the momentum of the game and helped the Lions tie the score at 31 in the final minute of the first half. Four free throws by the Rams in the closing seconds gave them a 35-31 halftime advantage.
The Lions built a six point lead in the late stages of the third quarter but saw the Rams recapture and extend the lead to seven points with just under four minutes to play in the game. A three pointer by sophomore Collin Mills and back to back steals and layups by sophomore Kavan Horton and senior Raishaun Brown tied the game 60-60 in the closing moments.
With 12 seconds left to play, Word of God’s 6’9” center, Josiah Shakelford, made one of two free throws to give the Rams the one point advantage. ACA’s Brown then drove the right side of the floor and found Tyler McKinney trailing the play. Brown dished to McKinney who knocked in a 15 foot jump shot as time expired to give the Lions the win.
Brown led the Lions in scoring with 24 points and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Horton added 12 points, Jalen Walker-Crawford had 9 points and McKinney finished with 8 points. With the victory the Lions push their season record to 5-0. The Lions will try to remain unbeaten but face their stiffest competition to date on Friday night. ACA travels to Legacy Charter in Greenville, SC to take on a talented team riddled with collegiate athletes.
The ACA girls team returns to action this week as well as they travel to Mountain Heritage for their second game of the season. For more information about ACA basketball follow the Lions on Twitter @ACAAthletics. You can also stay up to date on scores on the ACA Maxpreps page.