By Derek Trepanier
For The Republic
Using a defensive comeback Friday night, Columbus Christian battled back after trailing early to post a 50-34 boys basketball victory against Crosspointe Christian Academy.
The Panthers opened the game on a 9-0 run, seemingly overwhelming the Crusaders. Settling down on the offensive end Columbus Christian was able to crawl back into the game, trailing 16-9 after the first quarter.
Columbus Christian (5-5) came out in the second quarter looking like a new team, bringing the defensive pressure with a 2-3 zone and full-court press. Closing the quarter on a 13-1 run, the Crusaders tied the game at 22-22.
“At half time we really talked about our ball pressure,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said. “After we got back into the game there in the second quarter, I noticed our press was speeding them up, and they don’t like to play that fast.”
Both teams came out shooting the ball well in the third quarter, trading shot for shot, and the Crusaders took the slight edge into the fourth, leading 33-32.
Coming out in a full court press to begin the final period, Columbus Chrsitian was able to put the clamps on the Crosspointe offense while converting turnovers into points. The Crusaders outscored the Panthers 17-2 in the final quarter en route to the come-from-behind victory.
“I told them after that, what won us that basketball game was our defensive pressure. They came into the game undefeated and us on a five-game losing streak. I was just real proud of my seniors tonight for their leadership,” Roth said.
Columbus Christian was led by a 19 point effort from Conner Emily. Josh Jones chipped in 11 points.