Over the last three weeks the Asheville Christian Academy boys basketball team has suffered a variety of losses. After starting the year 5-0 the Lions’ players have succumbed to a string of illness and injury including major dental surgery, mononucleosis, and the flu which has sapped the squad of both leading scorers and rebounders. The physical struggles of the Lions seeped over into the overall record as the losses on the court began to rack up.
The week before Christmas the Lions looked to get back on track in the Phenom Hoop Tournament played in Columbia, SC. Only down one key player heading into the tournament the Lions squared off against Cardinal Newman High School. The Cardinals entered the game with an 11-1 record and are the favorites to win the South Carolina private school 3A State championship. The Lions trailed by one at the half but fell just short in the final quarter which saw their losing streak extend to four games. ACA then faced Great Bridge High School which boasted two 7 foot centers. The Lions jumped out early taking a 15-9 first quarter lead but the momentum shifted quickly and the opposing frontcourt size began causing significant problems for the Lions defense. Couple that with ACA’s inability to make perimeter shots and the game slipped away early in the second half bringing the ACA losing streak to five games.
In the final game of the Phenom tournament the Lions finally broke their streak with a 56-45 victory over Ben Lippen High School. The Lions held the lead from start to finish and although stretched in the fourth quarter were never in serious jeopardy. The Lions were led by senior Raishaun Brown and junior Tyler McKinney who both finished with 19 points on the night.
The Lions are now 7-6 on the season and will take to the court again, along with the ACA girls team, in the Holiday Tournament held at Freedom High School in Morganton, NC. .
For more information about Lions basketball visit the ACA MaxPreps page or follow the Lions on Twitter @ACAAthletics. You can learn more about the school at www.ashevillechristian.org.