A night of wins and rings for the Lions

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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The Ben S. Dillion Life Center on the campus of Rock Church School was packed Jan. 24, and the crowd was witness to victories by the Rock Lions varsity and junior varsity boys basketball teams, as well as a national championship ring presentation between contests.


The Rock Lions varsity team was playing the Eagles of Victory Christian School, and the Lions played strong defense, holding the lead at the half with a score of 35-27. In the second half RCS pumped up its offense to take an easy 78-43 win over the Eagles. 

In scoring, the Lions had three players in double figures; they were senior guard D.J. Dillion, with 45 points, junior forward Ian Johnson, with 12 points, and sophomore guard Miles Dawkins, with 11 points. 

For the Eagles, they also had three players in double figures — Timothy Vidal with 14 points, Ethan Meads with13 points and Silas Pugh with 10 points.  

After the game, Rock Lions Head Coach Danny Dillon said, “This win moves us to 14-1. We are No. 1 in the northern conference. We beat (Victory Christian) at their place pretty good, and we knew we would be able to handle business. We came out strong and switched up some defenses to prepare us for the state tournament. 

“We just keep giving God glory for what he does for these kids’ lives and how much that they have accomplished,” Dillon continued. “We have been playing in this facility going on now in our third year, and we are undefeated in the Ben S. Dillion Life Center.”

The coach noted that he is proud of all his players, including his son and the team’s leader D.J. Dillon.

“This is his second-to-last home game, and we are thankful for what he has brought to this program,” the coach said. “We have a recruit visit coming up with High Point (University). I feel he is one of the best shooters in the state. As a dad it is unbelievable, and as a coach it is also unbelievable.”

Coach Dillon said he and the team appreciate the community’s love and support, and he emphasized the team’s goal of continuing to win.

“We have two more games to clinch the northern conference,” he said. “As long as we win them, we will be No. 1 seed in the North Conference heading to the 1A state tournament, which is in mid-February.”

The Rock Lions improved to 15-1 on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a 54-43 conference win over host New Life Academy, and they will close out the regular season with a Monday, Feb. 6, home conference game against Suffolk Christian Academy that has a 6 p.m. tipoff.


Following the junior varsity game on Jan. 24, Rock Church’s varsity team from the 2021-22 season, along with its coaches and staff, received championship rings during a special ceremony as a result of winning the 2022 ACE national championship. 

Rock traveled to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to participate in the national tournament. The Lions defeated teams from Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Arkansas to advance to the championship game against Pennsylvania-based Fairview Christian Academy, which won the 2021 national title.

With four minutes left in the championship game, the Rock Lions found themselves down 13 points but worked their way back into the game. D.J. Dillon hit a deep 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to complete the comeback and help his team win the national title.


The Jan. 24 junior varsity boys game between Rock Church and Victory Christian was a tight one, featuring a halftime score of 19-19. The second half continued with tight scoring. 

With 25 seconds remaining in the game, the Lions held a lead with a score of 36-34. Free throw shooting sealed the game for the Lions, as eighth grade guard Benny Dillion and eighth grade forward Will Pittman connected to push the final score to 37-34 for the Lions. 

In scoring for RCS, Benny Dillion led the way with 15 points, and for the Eagles, Timothy Vidal led with 20 points.