By John Bombatch
CEDARVILLE — Playing their first game like a hot-shooting team in mid-season form, the visiting Xenia Legacy Christian Knights won 63-50 over Cedarville, Saturday at Cedarville High School.
Ashton Burke and Keano Hammerstrom both finished with a game-high 18 points in the Knights win, and Erik Uszynski also got into double figures in scoring with 10.
Legacy Christian never gave up the lead.
“I know that these guys have worked extremely hard in the off season … all of them, and so I feel like that gave them some confidence. They really worked hard,” Legacy Christian coach Brad Newsome said. “They’re a very hard-working group, but we’re just going to see if we can get better with each game.”
Cedarville (1-1) got within two points of the Knights (1-0) with 5:32 left to play in the first half, but Legacy Christian got inside scores from Uszynski and Brandon Martin, while Martin, Hammerstrom and Burke combined to hit 6-of-8 free throws to close out the half with a 30-21 lead.
A trio of Indians ended up with double-figure scoring: Colby Cross led Cedarville with 14 points scored, Nick Christman scored 13, including a 7-of-8 performance from the foul line, and Alex Zaage finished with 10 points in the loss.
“I thought they played really well,” Cedarville coach Ryan Godlove said. “We knew coming in that they were going to be a pretty good team. They have a lot coming back from last year. They have a really good coach and some talented kids over there.
“We did some things at the end of the game where we sped them up and hacked guys who we thought couldn’t score from the free-throw line, but they knocked down those shots. They did a really nice job against us.”
The Indians chipped away at LCA’s lead. And when Christman found Cross with a backdoor pass along the right baseline for a score, Cedarville had pulled within four points (43-39) of the Knights. But successive scores by Burke, Uszynski and Hammerstrom put LCA back ahead by 10 points, 49-39, with 4:41 yet to play.
“We had a chance to make it a two-point game, but it went from us getting a turnover, to turning it right back over, and then they came down and got an and-1, and it just sort of snowballed against us from there,” Godlove said.
Both teams are back in action today (Tuesday, Dec. 6). Cedarville hits the road to play at Leesburg Fairfield, while Legacy Christian plays at Jefferson Twp.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.