The NCA Boys basketball team, coached by John S. Griffin, concluded the season with a record of 15-10. The Lions played a schedule that included teams from as far north as Syracuse, N.Y. and as far south as Hazelton. The Lions avenged four of their losses. After losing the first game, the Lions learned their lesson and returned to defeat their opponents in a later game.
The Lions also participated in three tournaments this year. They started the season playing in the Gordon Sheffler tip off tournament in Elmira, N.Y. The Lions made it to the finals of the North Spencer Christmas tournament. The team also traveled to Clarks Summit University to participate in a tournament that included Bloomsburg Christian Academy, Immanuel Christian School, River of Life and Gillingham. The Lions posted a 2-1 record at CSU and won the consolation game
The Lions were led by senior team captains John Griffin and Nate DiCamillo. John led the team in scoring with 401 points and a 16.7 point per game average. Nate added a 130 points per game and a 6.2 point per game average. John and Nate both provided strong defense, rebounding, and leadership. The captains brought different leadership styles to the team. Freshman Landis Strohecker had a solid season running the point. Landis tallied 265 points as a ninth grader.
The expectation is Landis will continue to improve as he moves into tenth grade. Coach Griffin believes Landis has a good chance of becoming a 1,000-point scorer. Peter Scolari was the jack of all trades for the Lions this year. Peter is a natural forward, but played all five positions. Scolari had a season high of 11 assists, 13 rebounds, and 20 points. Tucker Cole was the heavy lifter on the Lions.
Tucker was often assigned the strongest offensive player to defend. Tucker also helped facilitate the offense with on ball and off ball screens. He was often responsible for baskets and assists that were recorded to other team members. The Lions had a strong bench this year. Alan Weed provided solid bench play. Coach Griffin believes Weed’s play and hustle easily influenced the Lions for three wins.
Sophomores Tim White and Noah Route made large strides this season. Coach Griffin states that Tim and Noah have exceptional athletic ability and now have the experience needed to step into bigger roles as juniors. Junior Tim Allen also provided depth. It’s invaluable to have older players on your team that have been playing basketball since seventh grade. There is no substitute for experience.
The NCA Lions also fielded a junior varsity team this year. One of the goals of a junior varsity program is to help players develop to become solid varsity players. The growth of the season can be seen in the Columbia County games. Early in December, the JV Lions lost, at home, to Columbia County 55-22. Columbia County is skilled, athletic and well coached. The Lions struggled.
Their rematch took place on Jan. 30 at Columbia County. The Lions led from the opening tip to the final buzzer. In the end they won by one-point.
That game was the perfect example of how a junior varsity is supposed to progress throughout the year. The kids worked hard and their hard work was evident. JV players included Devin and Kaiden Moises, Sam Cole, Corey Smith, Josiah Janca, Colton Mahosky, Tim White and Noah Route.