Calvary Chapel boys basketball coach Doug Lee has heard observers compliment his team’s defensive effort.
On Monday night, the Lions showcased their defensive abilities against Mountain View.
Calvary Chapel held the Saints to three field goals in the first half on the way to a 35-28 home victory.
“Many people have said this is the first time Calvary Chapel has ever really competed like this, this hard defensively,” Lee said. “So I give credit to the kids. They’re just working hard.”
The Lions held the Saints without a field goal for more than 10 minutes in the first half to take control.
“I felt like we had the ability go guard people, especially from the guard position,” Lee said. “But we weren’t doing it early because we weren’t doing the fundamental things. But we’re capable of going out there and holding some teams down.”
Mountain View was 3-for-21 from the field in the first half as the Lions took a 17-8 lead. The Saints led 4-0 before the drought, which finally ended on a Matthew Larson bucket with 3:22 to go in the first half, which cut the Calvary Chapel lead to 15-8.
Mountain View, which trailed 28-16 after three quarters, forced eight fourth-quarter turnovers and finally made a few baskets, including its first 3-pointers of the game, to make a run.
A steal and basket by Travis Wallace followed by a 3-pointer by Tevin Gray cut the Calvary Chapel lead to 28-26 with 4:22 to play.
But the Lions went on a 6-0 run, capped by four points from the team’s lone senior, Chris Basilio, who had a game-high 14 points and made two backdoor cuts for baskets in the second half, including one during the 6-0 run that helped Calvary Chapel regain the momentum.
“This used to be a program where everybody hit the panic button,” Lee said. “We’ve been able to control tempo a little bit better in these last few games, and I think that’s a sign of maturity.”
Matthew Harney added 14 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Lions (10-6), who moved into a third-placed tie with Mountain View at 6-4 in the Division III Southern League. Calvary Chapel would hold the tiebreaker.
“We don’t play to be third-best in the league,” Lee said. “We’re trying to build a program here that can win a championship.
“Agassi (Prep) and (The) Meadows clearly right now are better than the other teams in the league, but I just want to get (to the playoffs) because I know from experience that anything can happen once you get there.”
Connor LeBoeuf had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Saints (11-11, 6-4).