TROY — A change in defense led to several second-half East Dayton Christian miscues, and a dose of solid shooting also helped, in a 57-40 Legacy Christian win, Feb. 21, in the opening round of the Division IV boys high school basketball sectional tournament game at Troy High School.
The Knights offense appeared to feed off of the second-half press, as they converted several of the steals the other way for easy layups. Legacy coach Mark Erwin was very pleased with his team’s opening-round performance.
“Yeah, I felt pretty good about it. I thought our kids played really hard, and I thought we executed our offense a lot better in the second half,” he said. “They dug in, and I thought our press worked really well tonight. They were able to get several steals and turn those into some easy buckets at the other end.”
Unofficially, East Dayton Christian coughed up 16 turnovers in the second half. Legacy (6-17) converted at least 12 points off of those turnovers.
Eagles coach Antonio Campbell said the Knights‘ press came as a surprise.
“That was new to us. We went and watched them a few times, and they normally went with a 2-3 (zone), so when they came out in a man defense and started pressing us, it was a little different. It kinda shocked us for a little bit. The way our team is set up, it was just hard for us to handle it.”
Campbell credited junior Chapman Faulkner and Matthew Gadson with solid games. Faulkner led everyone with a 20-point game. Gadson scored six points and Dayvon Coble finished with seven for EDCA.
“I’m glad we’ll have them all back next season,” he said.
Legacy enjoyed a night of balanced scoring as well.
Brett Carson led the Knights with 15 points scored, with Andrew Riddle scoring 13 points and Jonathan Riddle scoring 11. Evan Dodson, Charlie Luke, Thomas Park, Payton Burdette and Justis Frazey combined for the other 18 Knights points.
LCA now has the challenging task of facing top seed Springfield Emmanuel Christian (20-2) in the sectional semifinal round. Emmanuel Christian won the Metro Buckeye Conference regular season crown, and has two season wins over the Knights who placed third in the MBC.
“We’re hoping that it’ll be hard to beat us three times,” Erwin laughed. “We got kinda close once (a 47-42 loss Dec. 13 in Xenia), but not so close the second time (a Feb. 3 53-38 loss in Springfield). Our kids are excited, and we’re happy to be there in the next round, … but they’re a really good team.”
The Knights of Legacy Christian will meet up with Emmanuel Christian’s Warriors for a third time this season at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 back at Troy High School.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.