Located at 18th Street and Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, Pacifica Christian High began playing varsity sports three years ago and has quickly made an impact.The boys basketball team recently reached the semi-finals of the CIF 6-AA playoffs. The girls team advanced to the final eight. The girls volleyball team won the CIF 5-A championship.“I came here from Pacific Hills High to be athletic director when the school opened,” said Kevin Kelsey, who also coaches boys basketball. “Creating an athletic program was something that appealed to me.”The school leases space from the Pilgrim Lutheran Church and has 150 students. Several athletes play more than one sport and Heather Smith coaches three – girls basketball, track, and cross country.There’s a campus gym that’s sufficient for practice but too small for games. So basketball home games are played at Culver City High and Stoner Park, among other sites.With a small enrollment and a team playing in the smallest of the CIF’s six divisions, one might think the basketball players are small. That’s not the case.Leading scorer Derek Williams, who averages 20 points, is 6-foot-2. David Hammer, who averages 17 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, is 6-foot-5. Cameron Bell, who is also 6-foot-5, scores 14 per game and takes down 15 rebounds. A freshman likely to excel in the future, Zack McMillan, is 6-foot-5.“The team played at a lower level the first year but went varsity after that and has made the playoffs three straight years,” said Kelsey.After going 14-0 in the Mulholland League this season (24-4 overall) Pacifica Christian will move to the Heritage League next season.Milken was the Heritage League champion this season and lost a first-round playoff game to St. Monica.Hammer is the first of Pacifica Christian’s stars to make a collegiate choice. He’s heading for Gordon College in Massachsetts.With the start of baseball season, Pacifica Christian is fielding a varsity team for the first time and will play most home games at the North Venice Little League park.In its first game, Pacifica Christian lost to Wildwood Friday, 7-6, at Stoner Park.
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