Dante Thomson and Justin Im combined for 30 of Loma Linda Academy’s 51 points as the Roadrunners defeated Calvary Murrieta 51-34 in an Ambassador League game at Murrieta. The pair shot a scintillating 56 percent from three-point range as the home standing Warriors attempted to shut down the LLA front line by playing a tight zone defense.
Thomson blazed out on a personal 7-0 run after the opening tipoff. He added three steals during the first quarter as LLA jumped to a 13-6 lead. The LLA defense shutout Calvary Murrieta for the first four minutes.
Im picked up the scoring pace in the second period with eight points. Joe Rees, coming off the bench, dished three assists as LLA increased their lead to 25-16.
The teams both put up 11 points in the third period with Thomson pacing the Roadrunners with six points. Michael Lawrence had four points and four rebounds subbing in for Keith Stewart who picked up his third foul early in the period.
Im dropped five points in the final period and Dakota Jordan added four as Coach Claridge emptied his bench.
The Roadrunners demonstrated their willingness to make an extra pass. Of their 18 field goals, 11 came off an assist including several long passes in transition. Their defense held the Warriors to only nine field goals in the game.
Michael Aka played one of the best games of his career at point guard by helping the perimeter offense with quick, decisive passing. He also did a nice job harrying the Warrior offense.
Thomson finished with 17 points including two 3-pointers, five steals, four rebounds and two assists. Im had 13 points including three 3-pointers, two steals and two assists. Chris and Michael Lawrence and Keith Stewart combined for four blocked shots along with 16 rebounds as the LLA front line had a good game on the inside.
The long car trips are over for the league season as LLA has completed trips to Linfield, Western and Murrieta. The Roadrunners (5-6, 2-2) will next face Aquinas (9-7, 3-1) at home on Jan. 10.