Heading into Friday night’s game against Christel House Watanabe, Columbus Christian boys head coach Kevin Roth knew his team would have its hands full with the opponents’ quickness and athleticism.
However, with Columbus Christian’s half-court press and focused ball control, the Crusaders were able to force early turnovers and create scoring opportunities that led to an 88-55 victory.
Columbus Christian scored eight-straight points to start out the game, four of those coming from guard Josh Miracle. Christel House managed just eight points in the first quarter, while Columbus Christian had 17.
Although Christel House had a short run early in the second quarter, Columbus Christian’s Dalane Shaull and Chris Noblitt then combined to score 10 unanswered points for the Crusaders, putting them up 32-12. Christel House managed just seven more points in the quarter, and Columbus Christian headed into halftime up 46-19.
“We had a game plan, and that was to put on our 1-3-1 half-court press to force early turnovers and create some easy baskets in the beginning,” Columbus Christian head coach Kevin Roth said. “We did a great job of that, which led to an early lead for us.”
Columbus Christian had a six-point run early in the third, with four of six straight points scored by Josh Miracle. That led into eight unanswered points by the Crusaders, with four points scored by Noblitt, While Nick Bridgewater and Shaull each added two.
Although Christel House put up 24 points in the fourth quarter alone, it was not enough to makeup the 44-point deficit they faced going into the final quarter. Columbus Christian added 13 in the fourth, leading to their victory.
Noblitt led the Crusaders with 20 points, followed by Miracle with 16, Shaull with 15, Austin Straub with 12 and Austin Martin with seven for Columbus Christian.
Roth said he was happy with the pace his team kept throughout the game, which enabled them to run plays create opportunities.
“Our starting group can really get up and down the floor, and we are very athletic at our wing positions, so we want to try and push the pace and I thought we did a good job of that tonight,” Roth said.
Columbus Christian (6-1) will continue its quest for first in the Columbus Invitational today at 2 p.m. at Columbus Christian against the winner of the 9 a.m. game between Herron and Suburban Christian.