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Sage boys getting healthy

January 06, 2006|By By Dave Thorpe

Injuries plagued the Lightning boys early, but they're getting healthy just as league play is starting.If there is one thing the Sage Hill School boys' basketball team can't afford, it's injuries.

Like most small-school teams, Sage Hill doesn't have a lot of depth. But if there is one thing the Lightning have had to deal with in nonleague action, it's been injuries -- and some illness.

Tim Lefler missed three games with the flu before Christmas, and five more with a sprained ankle. Nick Witte, who had shoulder surgery during the offseason, had his shoulder pop out in the third game of the season.

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And Connor Rose missed a handful of games with a sprained ankle.

Throw in a couple more cases of the flu, and one wonders how Sage Hill managed to stay at .500. But indeed, the Lightning are 8-8 going into Academy League action.

Sage Hill opens league play today at Oxford Academy at 7:30 p.m.

The Lightning figure to battle it out with Brethren Christian (9-5), Capistrano Valley Christian (9-5) and St. Margaret's (8-6) for the top three spots out of the league.

Last year, Sage Hill went 3-7 in league and missed the playoffs.

St. Margaret's Evan Guerrero leads the Academy League in rebounds with 121 and teammate Corey Fava has 114 assists. Capistrano Valley Christian is getting strong play from Victor Sfera, who has 36 three-pointers, and Zachary Brogdon, who boasts 32 steals.

Brethren Christian's Derrick Connor has 22 blocks and 110 rebounds.

At full strength, the Lightning could be a playoff team. Lefler has started practicing again, Witte is trying to work his way into playing shape, and Rose is slowly getting back to full strength.

In the meantime, Jamie McGee has been carrying the offensive load. He leads the league with 256 points and has become more complete offensively.

"Last year, he was more of a spot-up shooter," Sage Hill Coach Steve Keith said. "He's still a good three-point shooter, but now he's taking it to the hole more and getting to the free throw line."

Blaine Bolus was brought up from the junior varsity and has played well. Keith said Bolus will remain with the team and contribute as a reserve.

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