Columbus Christian won its last two boys basketball state Christian-school titles while playing the semifinals on a Friday night and the finals on a Saturday night.
This time, the state tournament will be more condensed. The Crusaders are scheduled to play in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and the finals are at 7 p.m. that evening at Faith Christian Community Center in Lafayette.
Columbus Christian (24-5) will play Traders Point Christian (9-13) in the semifinals. The Crusaders edged the Knights 57-54 on Nov. 25.
“In November, you have other games to play, but in the tournament, if you lose, you’re done,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said.
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The Crusaders won Indiana Christian State Tournament titles in 2003 and 2014. The ICST was renamed the Indiana Christian Schools Athletic Association (ICSAA) before this season.
Two Columbus Christian seniors — Logan Roth and Evan Reed — came off the bench for that 2014 team. Another, Connor Graham, dressed for the tournament.
Clinton Christian (19-5) will play in the first semifinal against Heritage Christian (Dyer). The Crusaders did not play any of those schools during the regular season.
“I would say it’s pretty wide open,” Kevin Roth said.
“Looking at records, Clinton and ourselves would be the favorites. The kids feel confident. We’ve been having good practices this week.”
East senior out for season
Chaz Painter’s basketball season is over, but his career is not.The Columbus East senior went up for a dunk attempt during Saturday night’s win against Martinsville, but was bumped and landed on his side. Tuesday, he found out he has a broken wrist.
“It’s really frustrating, but I’ve accepted this new role of being a leader for the guys when they’re going through adversity,” Painter said.
A little more than a week before he was injured, Painter accepted a scholarship offer to play at Wright State-Lake in Celina, Ohio. The school is part of USCAA, and its winners play in the NAIA Tournament.
Painter also had offers from Franklin, Manchester, IU-Kokomo, Alma (Michigan) and North Central (Illinois). He picked Wright State-Lake mainly because of its agricultural program.
“Plus, when I got there, I kind of loved everything about it,” said Painter, who will participate in a signing ceremony at 3:30 p.m. today in the East High School commons. “The coaching staff was great, too.”
The Olympians will miss the 6-foot-7 Painter. He ranks second on the team with 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game and was shooting a team-best 61 percent from the field.
East coach Brent Chitty said he will use a committee approach to replace Painter, with senior Kyle Frost, sophomore Matt Frost and junior Drew Hasson seeing increased roles in next week’s Bloomington North Sectional. The Olympians open against Shelbyville at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s a great loss, but hopefully, our guys will rally around it and will help make up for it,” Chitty said.
Gymnast plans to compete
Another Columbus East standout who was injured late in the regular season is expected to compete Friday when the Olympians host the gymnastics sectional.Junior Adi Minor, who has the state’s top score in three of the four individual events and the all-around competition, sprained an ankle last week and did not compete in East’s regular-season finale against Owen Valley.
“We’re making strides,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “Every day is better. You have to use all four of your people, and we’re counting on all four of our girls.”
The Olympians are ranked No. 4 in the state. Columbus North is ranked No. 3. The top three teams in the sectional advance to the March 3 East Regional.
The defending state champion Bull Dogs are coming off their best performance of the season, a 112.9 in winning the Conference Indiana title.
“The performance we had at the conference meet is right where we want to be,” North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “We’re starting to gel, solidifying our routines, getting our confidence level up and I think we’re going to be in good shape for sectional.”
Swimmers set for state
Columbus North will have two individuals and two relay teams competing in Friday’s preliminaries of the Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals at IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium.Sophomore Sam Russell is seeded 19th in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Angel Torres Martinez is seeded 33rd in the 50 freestyle.
Freshman Evan Patterson, sophomore Jared Carroll, Torres Martinez and Russell are 14th in the 400 freestyle relay. Carroll, Patterson, senior Adam Zhuang and Torres Martinez are 18th in the 200 freestyle relay.
The top eight in each event qualify for Saturday afternoon’s championship finals, while the next eight make the consolation heat.
“We’re putting the work back in this week to set us up to be really good on Friday,” North coach Logan Schaefer said. “That (prelims) on Friday is very unforgiving on the girls and the guys side, and if you’re one of the teams that’s getting a little faster, even a little bit, you’re going a great job, and it sets you up to be back on Saturday for even faster swims.”
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com or 812-379-5628.