XENIA — Host Legacy Christian lost a top player early on in Thursday’s Jan. 31 boys high school basketball game against Carlisle, and the Knights didn’t appear to skip a beat.
Erik Uszynski scored a game-best 17 points and Brandon Martin had a career-high 16 as the Knights defeated Carlisle, 70-46, Jan. 31 in the Legacy Christian Academy gym.
Martin may have saw more playing time than normal. That’s because the Knights’ Keano Hammerstrom fell hard after going up high for a rebound and appeared to have a head injury, 21 seconds into the second quarter of Thursday night’s nonleague contest.
After a nearly seven-minute stoppage of play that involved athletic trainers tending to Hammerstrom while the coaches and officials bickered over who had the authority to rule the woozy Knight ineligible for the remainder of the contest, LCA outscored Carlisle 13-7 in the quarter to grab a solid 31-19 halftime lead.
The visiting Indians didn’t get any closer.
According to LCA assistant coach Perry Williams, who was filling in for head coach Brad Newsome for Thursday’s game, Hammerstrom will undergo the regular concussion protocol treatment before being cleared to play in Friday night’s Feb. 1 contest in Springfield against Emmanuel Christian.
“We’re very hopeful of getting Keano back for Friday’s game, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” Williams said. “… Our biggest adjustment at halftime was to find a way to replace Keano in our lineup. Brandon Martin played a terrific game. That was a career game for him, and that was very nice to see.”
Martin’s previous best scoring night had been a nine-point effort in a Dec. 20, 2018 road win at Middletown Christian.
Carlisle (4-13) was led by a 14-point effort by Nolan Burney and nine points from Austin Redavide.
The game with Carlisle was a makeup game due to bad weather two weeks ago. It puts LCA in an odd position of playing back-to-back games on a Thursday and Friday, and also adds a bit of pressure for the Knights to play well in their Friday conference road game against league contender Emmanuel Christian Academy.
Williams says the LCA-ECA game is a big one in terms of the Knights’ Metro Buckeye Conference title hopes.
“A win up there has the potential to really put a conference championship in our sights. We have a few more (wins) to get, but that will really help us,” Williams said.
The Knights lead the Metro Buckeye Conference with a 15-2 overall record, and they are 10-0 in the conference. They lead second-place Troy Christian by 2 1/2 games, and Emmanuel Christian by three games. LCA would knock ECA out of title contention with a win, with three conference games in the regular season remaining for both schools.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.