Jeff Smith 3 p.m., March 10
Calvin Christian an unfriendly neighbor in win over Escondido Charter
Crusaders improve upon best record in Division V
ESCONDIDO – For the past three seasons, Foothills Christian and Maranatha Christian have dominated the Division V basketball landscape in San Diego. This season the departure of stars from each of those schools has shaken things up in the small schools division, with Calvin Christian currently owning its best record.
“It is very open for the taking,” said Calvin Christian forward Daniel Stout. “We could make a big statement in Division V.”
The Crusaders’ road to success began in August, when the school hired Brad Hollingsworth to run the basketball program. The former Oceanside High head coach and Palomar College assistant took over a team that went 10-16 last season and lost in the Division V quarterfinals.
“He has brought in a lot of new drills and kept practice intense and focused all the time,” Stout said. “It is nice having all the tips that he has from coaching for so many years.”
Calvin Christian improved its record to 14-3 (2-0 Pacific) with a 51-34 win over Escondido Charter at home on Tuesday night. The Crusaders took control of the game in the second quarter to beat the White Tigers (6-4, 1-2), neighbors located three miles southeast.
“We’ve had a few students go to their school and they have sent a few students to us, so it is nice to have that inter-school rivalry,” Stout said.
Stout recorded a triple-double in the win, finishing with 16 points, 20 rebounds and 11 blocks. The 6’8” senior’s inside game complimented a lineup of four guards around him.
“We try to move the ball around a lot,” Stout said. “We have good shooters on the outside and my inside play opens up the threes for them.”
Stout was one of four starters in double figures, including senior guard Ryan Waardenburg (10 points). He is also one of three Stouts on the Calvin Christian roster, playing alongside freshman siblings Jacob and Jeremiah.
“It’s pretty cool and it is nice to play with my brothers – I know them and they know me and we play pretty well together,” said Stout, who as a sophomore in 2008-09 played with his older brother David.
Calvin Christian hasn’t been to the Division V finals since 2007, where they lost to current four-time defending Foothills Christian. The Knights are off to a slow start this season without section career scoring leader Troy Leaf, leaving the Crusaders and Maranatha Christian (11-5) on the short list of contenders.
“We haven’t made it to the finals in the past two years, so this could be great for us,” Stout said.
Guard Ben Portillo led Escondido Charter with 14 points. The White Tigers have lost two in a row.
Calvin Christian – 51 (15-13-9-14)
Daniel Stout 16, Waardenburg 10, Bousema 10, Thomsen 10, Jacob Stout 0 (starters) Vos 3, Jeremiah Stout 2
Escondido Charter – 34 (14-7-7-6)
Portillo 14, Racciato 6, DeLoach 6, Mbaguwy 4, Marino 2 (starters) Franley 2
Escondido Charter guard Sami Mbaguwy drives to the basket between two Calvin Christian defenders