Crusaders win boys, girls JV titles
Both Grace Christian junior varsity basketball teams won tournament championships to go with their season titles, doing so on the Crusader home court to boot, as the Carolina Christian Conference JV finals were held Friday afternoon.
The Lady Crusaders, undefeated champs in the CCC regular season and 10-2 overall with Friday’s win, beat Crossroads Christian 38-27 in the first championship game.
Facing city rival Lee Christian in the boys JV game, the Crusaders (15-4 overall) beat the Falcons 64-43 also going undefeated, 12-0, through CCC games this season.
The Lady Crusaders had to pull away in the second half for their victory. Grace held an 18-17 lead at the half. Crossroads’ Michaela Nicholas scored 10 of what would be her team-high 13 points in the first half.
Grace Christian opened up its lead winning the third quarter 13-5. Gabby Womble scored eight Lady Crusader points in the period.
The Lady Crusaders held on to the lead from there. Lexi Carver made 5-of-8 free throws in the fourth quarter to help put the game away. Womble led Grace with 14 points. Carver had eight with Torie Boyte scoring six and Abby Srickland scoring five points.
In the boys’ tournament, Grace was the top seed and beat Northwood Temple on Thursday. The Falcons were the No. 3 seed, getting past Crossroads in the first round and No. 2 Wayne Christian in a semifinal on Thursday.
The Crusaders got out to a big lead in the opening minutes of the final. The Falcons chipped the lead down to four, a 13-9 Grace lead, before the Crusaders got hot again and built up a 32-15 halftime lead. Freshman guard Jason Oldham led the Crusaders with 12 points in the opening half.
Lee Christian tested the Crusaders twice in the regular season. Grace beat the Falcons 51-49 in December, then 41-37 two weeks ago. In the final though, the Crusader quickness, from guards Oldham, Zach Boggs, Isaiah Jones and Keshawn Wright, was too much on both ends of the court.
Boggs, who’s had multiple 30-plus-point games for the Crusader varsity team this season, led the Crusaders with 21 points. Oldham had 19 points and Jones scored 15 points.
Freshman center Alex Diekhoff led the Falcons with 15 points, including 11 in the second half. Freshman Garrison Weaver scored 12 points and freshman Noah Thomas scored eight points.