Crusaders place third in invitational

Columbus Christian was supposed to close out the Invitational with a battle for fifth place against Highland Latin Christian, but a forfeit by the Highlanders allowed it to compete for a third-place finish.

Columbus Christian played its first game against Christian Academy Madison and cruised to a 57-23 victory against the Defenders. Logan Roth, Lain Isley and Blake led the team with eight points apiece. Kyle Foster was right behind them with seven.

“I thought our starting unit did a lot better job,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said. “They did a real good job in the first four minutes of working the basketball. Had some bounce passes inside to get some easy shots and just took care of the basketball. That’s what I stressed before that game.”

The Defenders’ Trent Haggard had a game-high 12 points and was one of only three players who scored for Christian Academy Madison. He was also the only player from either team who scored in double figures.

Kevin Roth played 12 of his 14 players in the Christian Academy Madison game which allowed his starters to stay fresh for the second game. The Crusaders only had 25 minutes to between games as they had to get right back on the court to compete against Southside Christian, a team they only beat by two points in the beginning of the season.

Columbus Christian never trailed after taking the lead early in the first quarter on its way to a 46-36 win against Southside Christian.

“We played a zone because I knew they were a good shooting team,” Kevin Roth said. “They played us good early in November, and I felt like our kids did a good job of closing out on shooters. I thought Logan did a really good job as a senior stepping up.”

Logan set the tone early, scoring nine of his 15 points in the first half to go with his 11 rebounds.Isley had a solid game, adding 14 points to help the Crusaders end the Invitational on a three game winning streak after losing its first game to the Highlanders. Kevin Roth said playing in the tournament allowed his team to try some new things they may not have worked on to this point.

“I always like to try some new stuff around this time of the year going into the second half of the season,” Kevin Roth said. “We have some opponents that we play the second time around like (Southside Christian). The first time we played them man to man and this time we played them zone.”