Blazers reach tournament title game

ROSS CORNERS, N.Y. – Down seven points at the end of the first quarter, the Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers roared back to defeat the host team 57-50 in the semifinals of the Ross Corners Christian Academy boys basketball tournament Friday night.

The Blazers (2-4) will play in the tournament championship game this afternoon.

The Blazers trailed 16-9 at the first-quarter break, but a 22-point second quarter fueled them to a 31-25 halftime lead. They led 40-34 at the end of the third quarter, and they preserved the lead in the final quarter as sophomore Blaine Minnier scored 10 of his game-high 23 points.

Sophomore Caleb Eckert scored 16 points, while seniors Triston Horn and Nathan Statler contributed eight apiece. Statler was 6-for-6 from the foul line on a night when the Blazers were only 10-of-24 in foul shooting, including 5-of-16 in the final period. Isaac Kauffeldt added the two other Blazer points.

Eckert led the team in rebounds with nine and assists with five in addition to sharing the team lead in steals with Minnier with three. Minnier added seven rebounds and a pair of assists on his career-high scoring night.

“We knew going into this game it was going to be a great atmosphere playing the host school and they were going to be ready to play,” CVCS coach Austin Sanders said. “We did a great job of forcing turnovers early and finishing the game late.”

The Blazers held a 33-22 advantage on the boards and forced 24 turnovers while committing only 11.