When Justin Im feels comfortable at the three point arc, he frustrates the defense. Lay off him, and he will drain a three. Come up and he’ll drive in for a lay-up or a dish into the paint. Against Arrowhead Christian Academy on Tuesday night, Justin Im looked very comfortable as he scored 26 points to lead the Loma Linda Academy boys’ varsity basketball team to a convincing 63-40 victory in the Ambassador League game.
LLA ran off the first 9 points and cruised to a 20-2 first quarter lead. Justin Im had 5 points and younger brother Jonathan scored 4. Michael Lawrence dominated the paint hauling in 8 rebounds and adding 2 steals for good measure. It appeared that the Roadrunners would run off with the game.
The Eagles, however, clawed back in the second quarter led by three pointers from Bradley Mowbray and Riley Van Velthuysen. Their man defense held LLA to Ezra Hill’s single field goal plus 2 free throws. At the half, LLA led 24-14.
Bradley Mowbray and Van Velthuysen started the third quarter with back-to-back three points to cut the LLA lead to 4. ACA closed to within 33-30 about midway through the period. At this point, LLA went on a 14-0 run for the last 4 minutes of the third period and the first minute of the final period. Justin Im rattled in 14 points in the pivotal third period benefiting from two assists from his brother Jonathan.
Justin Im, Joe Rees and Michael Siahan all hit from downtown for LLA in the final period while backup center Elijah Hill, substituting for the injured Keith Stewart, had 4 points and 3 boards.
Justin Im’s 26 points, 4 steals and 3 assists demonstrates how frustrating he can be to opposing players. Hill finished with 12 points and 10 boards for a double double. Bradley Mowbray led ACA with 13 points.
Loma Linda (13-7, 5-2) actually is in sole possession of second place in the Ambassador League, two games behind Linfield Christian. The Roadrunners next play Woodcrest Christian on Thursday. ACA falls to 8-8, 3-4 and will play Ontario Christian on Thursday.