By John Bombatch
XENIA — Playing their best complete game of defense thus far this season, the host Xenia Legacy Christian Academy Knights handed Springfield Emmanuel Christian a 45-30 loss, Tuesday.
“We had a really good first half against Dayton Christian, but defensively — up until those last few minutes — that was our most complete defensive ballgame,” LCA coach Brad Newsome said. “That was our goal, to have a stingy defense. I felt like the guys did a good job of that tonight, especially in that third quarter.”
In that Dayton Christian contest, the Knights limited them to 18 first-half points in an eventual 68-58 loss on Dec. 9.
In this one, LCA held Emmanuel Christian scoreless throughout all but the final 49 seconds of the third quarter, to pull out to a commanding 38-13 lead. It wasn’t until Newsome began subbing out his starters that Emmanuel Christian was able to put any points on the scoreboard. The Lions scored 17 of their 30 total points in the final quarter.
“We’ve had moments where we could play defense like this. But tonight is the first time I think we were able to sustain it for most of the game,” Newsome said.
Conversely, Legacy’s 45-point total was the team’s lowest points output of the season thus far.
Where Ashton Burke (17.5 points per game) had been leading the Knights in scoring, David Kensinger led LCA on Tuesday with 14 points, while Keano Hammerstrom finished with 13. Burke finished with five first-half points, but doled out at least a dozen assists.
Emmanuel Christian had entered the game averaging 54 points a game. Tuesday’s low-scoring affair was easily the team’s lowest scoring output of the season, but it’s the second time the Lions scored less than 40 points in a game. Lions coach Dan Moore just didn’t think his squad came into the dark LCA gym ready to play.
“We didn’t handle pressure well, and we didn’t seem to be able to hit our baskets when we needed them. And when they brought their defensive pressure, it really affected us. We didn’t handle that well at all,” Moore said. “We’ve played here before. We’ve won here before. … I don’t think it’s an easy place to play in, but that didn’t have anything to do with our not being able to handle their pressure tonight. We just didn’t come in ready to play.”
Adonis Davis, who entered the game averaging 15.3 points a game, led Emmanuel Christian with seven points.
Legacy Christian is now 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Metro Buckeye Conference. They’ll head north to take on Troy Christian at 7 p.m. Friday. Emmanuel Christian will host Miami Valley that same time and day.