Valley Christian boys basketball tops St. Johns

Valley Christian boys basketball tops St. Johns


Valley Christian boys basketball tops St. Johns


FLAGSTAFF – Ninth-seed Chandler Valley Christian had the first game last year here in the Division III tournament, and made a quick exit.

This time, Valley Christian made sure there would be no bad memory leaving the Northern Arizona Walkup Skydome on Friday.

Center T.J. Widner had 15 points and point guard Alec Chavez 14, leading Valley Christian to a 54-46 victory over No. 8 St. Johns in a 9 a.m. second-round state tournament game.

Valley Christian (20-9) advances to Monday’s quarterfinals at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley against either No. 1 Fort Defiance Window Rock or Show Low, which played the last game Friday night.

“We shot the 3 really well in the first quarter,” Valley Christian coach Greg Haagsma said.

The key for Valley Christian (20-9) has been getting someone different stepping up every game.

Through sectionals, 6-foot-4 guard Brandon Haagsma basically carried Valley Christian.

He struggled with his shot against St. Johns. But others took over.

“We got it inside to our big guy (Widner),” Greg Haagsma said. “T.J. had some good baskets. We handled their pressure very well.

“We got some easy layups off of their pressure, which was nice.”

St. Johns (18-13) was led by 6-3 junior forward Dayton Waite’s 17 points. He had three 3-pointers.

St. Johns cut it to 49-46 with 16 seconds left on McKell Bradshaw’s 3-pointer. Valley Christian made four free throws in the final 14 seconds to seal it.

“We had them at double digits a few times during the game but we could never put them away,” Greg Haagsma said. “They have great rebounders. (Waite) is a heck of a player.”


More USA TODAY High School Sports