Victory Christian boys gain valuable experience

Dec. 29, 2012 @ 09:21 PM

Victory Christian was at a decided disadvantage against most of the teams in its bracket at the South Granville Holiday Invitational, but coach Bill Hissong left Creedmoor feeling good about the way the Eagles competed.

Victory started play Thursday in the Wake Forest Physical Therapy Bracket with a loss to Cresset Christian Academy before earning a win over Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School Friday. The inexperienced Eagles (6-2) were outmatched in Saturday’s fifth-place game, falling to Wake Christian 92-32.

“This school has about a thousand students and we have 150,” said Hissong. “We just can’t compete with something like that, but it’s fun to get out here and play, get your name out there.”

Hissong said he’d like to play in more tournaments like the one at South Granville.

“It’s big for the school and it’s big for these guys,” he said. “They came into this not really having to play hard and physical. (Wake Christian) played very hard and physical. By the end of the second quarter, these guys finally figured out that you have to play that way.”

Jeremy Florence led Victory Saturday with 20 points and was named to the all-tournament team.

Hissong said he was happy with the play of his entire team in the tourney.

“Once I get past my first two or three guys, the rest of my team is pretty much interchangeable,” he said. “I don’t have any tall guys, everybody’s pretty much the same height.”

Victory lost to Cresset by 20 points, down eight at the half. The Durham school is led by Shawn Lipscomb, who entered the tourney as the state’s leading high school scorer, averaging 37.5 points.

“We just couldn’t hang with him. I don’t have anybody that athletic,” said Hissong.

Victory opens league play Friday at home against Cornerstone Christian of Roanoke Rapids.

Cresset was scheduled to meet Village Christian Academy of Fayetteville in the championship game Saturday night. Cresset defeated Ahoskie’s Ridgecroft School in the semifinals and Village Christian topped Charlotte Country Day.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.