LACS Eagles Boys Basketball Finishes Season in CIF Second Round - Mountain News : Sports

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LACS Eagles Boys Basketball Finishes Season in CIF Second Round

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 9:00 am

The Lake Arrowhead Christian School varsity boys basketball team completed an eventful 2019 to 2020 campaign, bowing out in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 5A playoffs on Feb. 14, at the hands of second-seeded Trinity Classical Academy of Valencia. This year marked the Eagles’ first CIF playoff appearance since 2016. Senior co-captain Jack Callaway had an impressive 21 points in the Eagles’ final contest.

This year’s squad was able to earn the second-round home contest by virtue of a convincing first-round road defeat of River Springs Charter Academy Hemet, 60 to 37, in which Callaway canned 23 points, sophomore Sam Lehman had 12 points and eight rebounds. Defensive-stopper sophomore, Caleb Flitsch, posted an impressive 13 rebounds and 12 blocks. 

The Eagles took a commanding 31 to 15 as Head Coach Steve Rutz lead them into the halftime break. “The boys came out focused and ready,” said Coach Rutz.

The team had an overall win-loss record of 11-12, while compiling an 8-4 record in the Majestic League. That league finish earned a third-place finish and a trip to CIF. As evidenced by their near break-even win-loss record, it was an up-and-down season for the Eagles.

They came out of the gate charging to a 4-1 start, but injuries and sickness beset the team, contributing to a five-game losing streak in mid-December. Senior co-captain Elijah Dowell labored through knee injuries and illness all season, while six foot eight inches senior center Elias Polden suffered an early-season catastrophic broken patella and tibia which ended his high school playing career. 

“The injury to Elias was a terrible blow, as he is so well-liked and respected for the many years of practice he invested to make himself competitive,” Coach Rutz said.

The team’s memorable highlights included a road trip to the Mammoth High School Tournament in Dec. and a Jan. contest at the Staples Center. These events were followed by an L.A. Clippers game that evening. Other highlights featured the many individual Majestic League awards earned by the boys.

Flitsch led the award-parade as one of three finalists for the Majestic League MVP. He would have to settle for first team All-Majestic League, as the league’s top award went Senior Alfredo Lechuga of Corona Crossroads Christian. Flitsch finished the year with per-game averages of 10.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 blocks. He had a dominating 84 blocked shots in league play, with the next nearest opponent tallying only 39.

Callaway led the Eagles in scoring with 15.7 points/game (345 total), while draining 80 three-point buckets on the year. His 17.3 ppg was good for second in the league, and his 3.2 steals/game was 4th, netting him a 1st team All-Majestic League award.

Dowell secured a 2nd Team All-Majestic League honor for the second consecutive season by averaging 13 points and 5.1 rebounds per game during league play. He finished the year with 189 total points, third-highest for the Eagles.

Three other Eagles earned All-Majestic League Honorable Mention: junior guard Jacob Thrower (second in league assists, 4.6/game), junior forward Hans Ohlson (fourth in league rebounding, 11.7/game), and sophomore wing Sam Lehman (top 10 in league rebounding and blocks). Completing the 2019 to 2020 roster were junior wing David Alvarez, junior guard Braden Addleman, and freshman forward Graham Siedschlag.

With the core of Flitsch, Thrower, Ohlson, and Lehman returning as league award-winners, the 2020 to 2021 Eagles are in good takeoff position to be ready to fly again.

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