The Asheville Christian Academy boys basketball team nailed down the regular season conference championship for the first time since 2013. The Lions had to knock off the league’s perennial champion Christ School in thrilling fashion to bring the crown back to Swannanoa. The Lions jumped out to an early lead as they frustrated Christ School’s big lineup which featured two 6’10” centers. At the end of the first quarter ACA led 16-9.
The Greenies switched strategies and went to a smaller lineup in the second half but the Lions managed a nine point advantage as the third quarter came to an end. In the fourth quarter the momentum shifted. The Greenies held the Lions without a point for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and went on a 10-0 run to take a 44-43 lead. ACA sophomore Kavan Horton nailed a three to break the Lions scoring drought and gave the Lions a 46-44 advantage. Christ School responded and with 30 seconds to play scored a bucket to pull ahead 49-48.
After a Lion timeout, senior Jalen Walker-Crawford hit a driving layup with 9 seconds remaining to retake the lead 50-49. On the ensuing possession the Lions forced the Greenies into a difficult final shot that harmlessly bounced off the back board giving the Lions the win and the conference crown.
The Lions were led in scoring by junior Tyler McKinney who finished with 15 points. Seniors Raishaun Brown and Jalen Walker-Crawford both had 11 points in the victory. The win pushed the Lions conference record to 7-0 with an overall record of 16-10. ACA will finish off their regular season on the road this week against Carolina Day School.
For more information about ACA visit www.ashevillechristian.org.