Defense led the Columbus Christian girls basketball team to big victory Friday night over Christel House.
The Crusaders used that aggressive defense to fuel a 29 point victory, downing the Golden Eagles 71-42.
Visiting Christel House struggled to move the ball upcourt, as the Columbus Chrisitan defense kept the pressure on. The aggressive Crusaders hassled the Christel House ballhandlers while denying passes and ball movement.
“We knew they weren’t a great ballhandling team and knew if we could keep the ball out of the hands of their post players we’d be in good shape,” Columbus Christian coach Ron Bridgewater said. “Our plan out of the gate was to put pressure on the guards and try not to let the bigs touch the ball down low.”
The pressure forced several turnovers from Christel House (6-12). The Golden Eagles were forced to transition quickly from offense to defense, causing them to fall into foul trouble early in each half. The Crusaders (10-7) took advantage hitting 16 of 20 free throws.
“Defense wins ball games for us,” said Rachel Warren, who scored 14 points for the Crusaders. “Keeping the other team’s number of shots low is important.”
The inside play of Warren and Tori Robinson, who added 15 points, is an important piece of the Columbus Christian offense. It caused the Christel House defense to attempt to adjust, usually leading to the Crusaders finding an open player for an easy basket.
“It’s important for our team to have our posts down low,” said Columbus Christian’s Macy Wingham who led all scorers with 28 points to go over the 500-point mark for the season. “When they have to double-up on them in the post it frees up Kayleigh (Reed) and me on the outside. That forces them to change their defense.”
Wingham also had 10 rebounds and 11 steals.
“These girls have all come a long way this year, and now I’m at the point I’m not afraid to go to the bench when I need to,” Bridgewater said. “All these girls play hard, and we don’t lose our energy when our bench comes on the floor.”