Crusaders get first victory in new chapter
After a one-season break from being conference rivals, city neighbors Grace Christian and Lee Christian clashed on Lee Christian’s home court Friday night.
The Crusader vs. Falcon rivalry, now in the Carolina Christian Conference, was hard-fought the whole way but in doubt only for a little more than the first quarter. Grace Christian (7-4, 2-0) won the second quarter 19-2 to get a 29-12 lead over the Falcons (1-5, 1-1) and go on to a 59-28 win.
Early on, Grace Christian’s full-court defense caused a hectic pace and lots of Falcon miscues. The Crusaders lost the ball equally often in the opening minutes. Kane Kaufman and Braxton Deikhoff made two baskets apiece as the Falcons were tied 10-10 through a period.
The Crusaders began taking better care of their possessions, then found some rhythm from long range, early in the second period. Zach Boggs hit back-to-back three-pointers stretching Grace’s lead to 19-10. After a Falcon basket, the Crusaders, mainly B.J. Harrison, rattled off the next 10 points leading to the half. Harrison led Grace with 15 points in the half and finished with a game-high 22 points along with eight steals and seven rebounds.
Grace Christian kept building its lead through the third quarter for a 45-17 lead going to the last quarter. Boggs finished with 17 points, including three three-pointers. Isaiah Jones had seven points and five rebounds. Fernando DePaz had six points, 11 rebounds and nine steals. Nolan Shoemake led Grace with eight assists.
Deikhoff led Lee Christian with 10 points and seven rebounds. Kaufman added four points and seven rebounds. Christian Natale had six points and five steals.
The Crusaders have another CCC game Monday night, versus Northwood Temple at 7:30 p.m.
The Falcons will play at Jordan-Matthews Monday at 7:30 p.m., then host O’Neal Tuesday at 7 p.m.