Valley Christian guard Kolby Blew finally listened to his coach Chad Kimberley. He shot the ball more, and more and more.
In heeding Kimberley’s advice, Blew lit up the scoreboard for a career-high 31 points Saturday, leading the Panthers past the Cascade Christian Academy Wolverines 69-47 at Shadle Park High.
The win sends the Panthers (21-2) to the State 1B boys basketball tournament, which begins Thursday at the Arena. It’s Valley Christian’s first trip to state in nine years.
“I just kept shooting,” Blew said after the game. “I guess I just might keep doing it at state.”
Blew shot 11 for 15 from the floor and 6 for 8 on 3-pointers.
“I’ve been bugging him to shoot more,” Kimberley said. “When I looked up and saw that he was past 30, I thought, ‘Well, OK then.’ ”
Blew scored 17 points by halftime. By comparison, the Wolverines had 22 points as a team after two quarters. The Panthers raced to a 9-2 lead early and never looked back.
Blew continued his torrid shooting pace into the second half, hitting four 3-pointers to give the Panthers a 26-point lead after three quarters. At that point, Cascade Christian as a team had only outscored Blew by three points.
With only eight players on the roster, two of whom for the most part did not play, CCA faced an uphill climb.
The Wolverines were led by 5-foot-5 freshman Kris Grys, who scored 14 points.
Kimberley’s mantra headed to the state playoffs this week is simple: “Stay humble; stay hungry.”
Most of this current Valley Christian squad belonged to a team that recently won a mere two games a couple of years back.
“It’s been a long time for us since we’ve been to state,” Kimberley said. “But really, we haven’t won anything yet. We still have some work ahead of us.”