By Gary Brown, Sun Correspondent
PORT CHARLOTTE — The Community Christian boys basketball team may be very young this season but they have high hopes.
The Mustangs, 5-6 on the season, have just one senior, but they rolled past visiting Imagine School of North Port 53-38 in non-district action Tuesday night.
Community Christian plays in the Florida Christian Athletic Association but they haven’t started league play yet. Meanwhile, they’ve been playing much bigger schools. And they had little problem with the Sharks for most of the game.
The Mustangs jumped off to an 8-2 lead after one quarter and led 17-14 at halftime. But the Mustangs’ only senior, James Boutchia, scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the winners. Community Christian outscored the Sharks 20-6 in the third quarter to take a 37-20 lead by the end of the period.
Imagine School then came back behind the play of Patrick Grzywna in the fourth quarter to get within six points. Grzywna scored all of his 12 points in the final period. But the Mustangs held on for the victory. Aaron Harris added 10 points for Imagine School.
Josh Foster added 14 points for the Mustangs. Brandon Hill, a 6-foot-3 eighth grader, added six points for Community Christian. He was just moved up from the middle school team to the varsity squad.
“I think the best part of my game is going to the rim,” said the 6-foot-1 Boutchia. “And I’m aggressive.”
“We played well in spurts,” said Mustangs coach Kurt Taylor. “ “But we were up and down. We took a big lead then let them come back on us.
“We’ve got a real good group of kids. We made it to the state finals (in the FCAA) last season but lost by one point to Wade Christian. I think we can win it this season. We have one senior and one junior and the rest of our players are sophomores, freshmen and one eighth grader.”
Imagine School is 3-11 on the season. The Sharks team will take on host Everglades City at 6:30 p.m. tonight in a non-district game. The Mustangs will travel to Sarasota Christian for a 7 p.m. contest tonight.
COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 53, IMAGINE SCHOOL OF NORTH PORT 38
Imagine School 2 12 6 18 – 38
Community Chr. 8 9 20 16 – 53
Imagine (38): Patrick Grzywna 12, Aaron Harris 10, Bynde 5, Markland 4, Brown 4, Luiz 3. Totals: 15(2) 6-8, 38.
Community Christian (53): James Boutchia 20, Josh Foster 14, Hill 6, Bray 4, Orr 4, Rivera 2, Joyce 3. Totals: 21(0) 11-14, 53.
PORT CHARLOTTE – The Imagine School of North Port’s girls basketball team put on a show of defensive strength as they rolled past a young Community Christian School team 47-7 Tuesday night.
The Sharks, 9-8 on the season, led 29-7 at halftime and held the host scoreless in the second half. Imagine School had six players hit the scoring column while only two Mustangs players scored. They led 9-3 at the end of the first quarter, but exploded for 20 points in the second quarter while forcing numerous turnovers.
Karressa Christie scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack for the winners. Eight of her points came in the second quarter. Kayle Christie added 10 points.
Marlena Marra and Alex Chapman both scored 8 points for the winners. The Sharks got their fast break going well and controlled the entire game.
“We had a balanced attack,” said Sharks coach Robert Toth. “Karresa isn’t usually our leading scorer but she had more playing time tonight. Arianna Andrade is our leading scorer usually but tonight everybody played and did a good job.”
Community Christian is 0-7 on the season and doesn’t have any seniors on its team.
Ashlyn Rhein scored 5 points for the Mustangs and Emma Pillar had the other 2 points.
“We’re just awfully young,” said Community Christian coach Bill Pillar. “We don’t have any seniors on our team. We’re just trying to rebuild and get better for next season.”
Community Christian will play at Sarasota Christian in a 5:30 p.m. game tonight. The Sharks will take on host Bradenton Christian in a key District 3A-5 game at 4 p.m. Saturday. Bradenton Christian is in first place with a 6-0 record and the Sharks are 3-2 and tied for second place.
IMAGINE SCHOOL 47, COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 7
Imagine School 9 20 6 12 – 47
Community Chr. 3 4 0 0 – 7
Imagine School (47): Karessa Christie 14, Kayle Christie 10, Marra 8. Chapman 6, Andrade 4, Woods 5. Totals: 21(1) 4-6. 47.
Community Christian (7): Rhein 5, Pillar 2. Totals: 3(0) 1-3 7.