Crusaders struggle in boys event

DAYTON, Tennessee — The Columbus Christian boys basketball team’s hopes of winning a National Association of Christian Athletes title came to an end Thursday afternoon with an 85-79 loss to Faith Baptist from Georgia.

The Crusaders (23-8) outscored Faith Baptist (58-13) 43-36 in the second half but couldn’t overcome a 49-36 halftime deficit.

“We got off to kind of a slow start and played them fairly even the rest of the game,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said. “They were a little quicker than us.”

Nick Bridgewater led the Crusaders with 25 points. Josh Miracle added 16, while Austin Straub had 11 and Adriane Polley 10.

Columbus Christian began the day with a 64-39 win against Grace Christian from Virginia. Miracle scored 15 points, while Chris Noblitt added 12 and Bridgewater had 10.

The Crusaders will play Gateway Christian from Virginia for fifth and sixth place in the Division 5 tourney at 1 p.m. today.

Meanwhile, the Columbus Christian girls, who had a bye in Thursday’s first round of the Division 4 girls tournament, will play at 10 a.m. today against Carolina Christian. Carolina Christian is the defending Division 3 girls champion, while the Crusaders are the defending Division 5 girls winner.