Age was no deterrent to Blake Barker on Friday night.
The eighth-grader shot lights out from behind the arc, hitting five 3-pointers to help Columbus Christian pull out a 57-54 win against Traders Point Christian.
Barker hit four 3-pointers in the second half and ended the game with 19 points. He said he has always been comfortable playing with older players.
“I’ve gotten used to that over the years,” Barker said. “So I just treat it as another basketball game playing against other players. They might be bigger and stronger than me, but I give it all I have just so I can stay in the game and do what I have to do to help my team win.”
It took an entire team effort from the Crusaders to try and stop the Knights’ Cameron Simmons, who finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Simmons carried the team the entire game and brought the Knights to a five-point lead with just over 2 minutes left in the game.
Traders Point looked as if it was on its way its first win of the season, but Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth told his team to keep fighting.
“A lot of teams would try and get quick with the 3 to get back in the game, but I felt like our guys just stayed with what we were working on,” Roth said. “In the timeout, I told them we’ve got plenty of time here, and I’ve got four timeouts left. So lets just keep doing what we’re doing here and get a basket.”
Barker came through with another big 3-pointer, and the defense was able to get a few stops. After Columbus Christian went up by three, Traders Point still a shot to tie with 2 seconds left.
Simmons caught the ball at the 3-point line and shot a turnaround jumper. The buzzer sounded and the ball bounced off the rim, and Columbus Christian’s undefeated season stayed at 4-0.
“I think we really started to mend and come as a team in the fourth quarter,” Logan Roth said. “I think defense really helped us. We were able to get a few key rebounds on the defensive end that really helped us. I think that’s why we got the win.”
Logan Roth was the big defensive force for the Crusaders with three blocks and three steals to go along with his 10 points. Kyle Marsh also had four steals.