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Columbus Christian advances in regional

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COLUMBUS Christian kept its postseason run alive on Thursday night at home, posting a dominant 85-47 victory against Christel House Watanabe to advance to the regional championship game of the Indiana Christian State Tournament.

“I was proud of our play tonight,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said. “We did a lot of key things well, including rebounding and really focusing on our defensive pressure.”

The Crusaders will host Bloomington Lighthouse in the South Regional championship game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Sophomore Josh Miracle got Columbus Christian off to an explosive start, as he notched three 3-point goals on his way to 11 first-quarter points. Miracle, along with a pair of transition baskets from Austin Straub led the Crusaders in outscoring Christel House 19-8 in the first quarter.

Miracle had a game-high 20 points for Columbus Christian.

Sophomore Chris Noblitt got to work inside for the Crusaders in the second quarter, notching nine of his 17 points, and Columbus Christian led 38-16 at the half.

“We did well making the extra pass underneath the basket inside, which led to some easy layups for Chris (Noblitt) and Austin (Straub),” Roth said.

Straub posted 11 points for Columbus Christian.

Although the game stayed at a quick pace through all four quarters, Christel House never challenged the Crusaders for the lead.

Columbus Christian outrebounded Christel House 26-13 on the defensive end, as well as making key transition plays to keep the game out of reach of Christel House.

Although Roth was happy with the transition game, he said he would like to see more quick passing in transition.

“I was trying to get the guys to kick the ball ahead, and I thought we could have done a little bit better at that,” Roth said. “We need to cut down on the turnovers and take better care of the basketball.”

The Crusaders turned the ball over 15 times; however, they continued to drive to the basket, which led to 36 free-throw attempts. They shot 72 percent from the line.

Christel House shot a meager 35 percent from the free-throw line, hitting 6 of 17 attempts.

Roth looked to his bench players down the stretch, who did a good job of keeping the momentum in the Crusaders’ favor. Ian Gray had six points off of the bench for Columbus Christian, while Adriane Polley added four.

Dalane Shaull had 16 points and eight rebounds for Columbus Christian, while Austin Martin added four points and six rebounds.

Quentin Sanders led Christel House with 15 points, followed by Cameron Bigbee with 10.

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