With 13 days having passed since its most recent game, Kevin Roth wasn’t sure what to expect out of his Columbus Christian team Friday night.
But for the first three quarters, the Crusaders put Roth’s fears to rest. They jumped out to a huge lead and held on for a 92-77 win against Monument Lighthouse.
“I was concerned coming into the game since we hadn’t played since Hauser on Jan. 11,” Roth said. “We had been practicing and things like that, and I wondered whether we were going to come out flat.”
Instead, the Crusaders (20-2) put up their highest point total since scoring 106 in the season-opening win against Wabash Valley HomeSchool. Columbus Christian led 55-32 at the half and 79-51 after three quarters.
“I thought we were patient, ran some good offensive plays, got some guys going early, which got their confidence up and helped them throughout the game,” Roth said.
Junior Josh Miracle led the Crusaders with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He went 13-of-18 from the field, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range, and 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.
“Most of my offense was coming from cleaning up messes — my messes mostly,” Miracle said.
“He’d be out here on the wing, and I said ‘Get in there and get on the boards,’” Roth said. “He did a good job tonight.”
Things got a little off track for Columbus Christian in the fourth quarter. Leading by 28 points, the Crusaders allowed the Pythons (5-5) to score the first 10 points of the final period.
Columbus Christian committed eight of its 22 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
“We have to work on taking care of the ball and not turning the ball over so much,” Miracle said. “We didn’t do very good in the second half taking care of the ball.”
Austin Straub scored 17 points for the Crusaders, while Adriane Polley, Dalane Shaull and Chris Noblitt all added eight. Logan Roth had two big fourth-quarter baskets to help stem the tide and keep Monument Lighthouse at bay.
Shaull grabbed 12 rebounds to help Miracle in leading Columbus Christian to a 54-40 advantage on the boards.
“I thought Dalane and Josh had big games for us,” Roth said. “Guys came in off the bench and did a good job. I thought Logan came in and gave us a big lift. Chris is still trying to get back into playing shape, but I thought he did a good job when he got him the ball where we need to get him the basketball.”
The victory gave the Crusaders their fourth consecutive 20-win season. They had a pair of games snowed out last weekend.
“Like I told the boys before the game, since we’ve had all those games, it seems like a month since we’ve played,” Roth said. “It’s good to get back in the game and good to get our 20th.”