South Central (Elizabeth) took its first lead of the game midway through the fourth quarter Saturday night against Columbus Christian.
The Crusaders still had one last rally in them.
Blake Barker hit a 3-pointer and then Logan Roth hit two free throws that sparked a 12-0 run that propelled Columbus Christian to a 59-49 win.
The win was extra special for Roth. He was 14 points away from reaching 1,000 points in his Crusader career. He finished with exactly 14.
“It is definitely an honor,” Roth said. “It means a lot. I didn’t how close I was until (Friday) night. I thought about it some during the game, but then I was like ‘It’ll just come when it comes’ and not think about it.”
Columbus Christian (19-5) got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first three minutes of the game and couldn’t put the ball in the basket, but when coach Kevin Roth called a 30-second timeout to settle his team down, the Crusaders finally got going.
In the next two minutes, Columbus Christian scored nine straight points and led 17-8 after one quarter.
“We were kind of slow and didn’t get things going offensively,” Logan Roth said. “Once we came out and started running some plays, we got going.”
After South Central (6-10) cut the lead to 18-14, Barker hit a triple, and then three free throws by the Crusaders extended the lead to 24-14. A 3-pointer at the buzzer by the Rebels cut the Crusader lead 29-23 at halftime.
After Columbus Christian led 41-36 to start the fourth quarter, South Central went on an 8-2 run to capture the lead, setting up the Columbus Christian rally. The Crusaders hit seven free throws during the 12-0 fourth-quarter run.
Barker finished with a game-high 25 points. Evan Reed and Kyle Marsh each added 10.
“I told the guys to just stay with what we are running and what we have been doing,” Kevin Roth said. “With the defense they were running, I told the guys to shot fake it and drive, and we got some baskets and some fouls on them. They just kept encouraging one another to finish the game, and we did a good job. We continue to do the little things to get better.”