Crusaders pick up 3 quick wins

Columbus Christian boys basketball coach Kevin Roth didn’t intend for his team to have to play three games in less than 24 hours.

But with the end of the regular season quickly approaching and teams wanting to reschedule, the Crusaders made up a pair of games Saturday after returning late Friday night from a game in Louisville.

Winning all three games made the effort worthwhile for Columbus Christian.

“It’s tiring,” junior Connor Emily said after putting up 21 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s 60-50 win against Delaware Christian. “I’d say we’re all pretty tired. We’re going to sleep well tonight.”

The Crusaders (9-14) trailed the Knights (9-11) 47-39 entering the fourth quarter before scoring the first 14 points of the period to take the lead for good. Columbus Christian outscored Delaware Christian 21-3 in the fourth quarter.

Josh Jones added 13 points for the Crusaders, who overcame a nine-point second-quarter deficit to tie the game at 27 at halftime. Taylor Hilliard had 10 points, and C.J. Reed added nine.

“It’s not a single-man game, so we all chipped in a little bit and did our parts,” Emily said. “We got into their heads and forced turnovers, and they just gave up from there.”

Earlier in the day, Columbus Christian edged Cannelton (5-12) 62-60. Reed scored 15 points, while Emily and Kyle Foster each had 13 and Hilliard added 11.

On Friday night, the Crusaders rolled to a 73-31 win at Micah Christian in Louisville, avenging a loss in the Columbus Christian Tournament in December. Emily led the Crusaders with 19 points, while Jones added 16 and Reed had 11.

“We had been struggling a little bit, and we bought into what we were trying to do down at Micah Christian,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said. “We really put a lot of pressure, and we played well together. We made the extra pass, and we didn’t dribble ourselves into trouble.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.