Blazers roll to win over Grace

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers put four players in double figures and pounded Grace Academy 76-57 Tuesday evening in a Mason-Dixon Christian Conference boys basketball game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

The Blazers (1-1, 1-0 MDCC) took control early, scoring the game’s first six points and then rolling to a 22-9 margin by the end of the first quarter. They increased the lead to 39-19 at the half and led by 31, 63-32, after a 24-point third quarter.

“I really challenged the guys to take pride in their defense,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “After watching the film of our first game (83-66 loss to Carroll Christian), I felt we were lazy and not aggressive, which is uncharacteristic for the players we have and the system we teach. Everyone bought in and we had a great Monday practice leading into this game. They knew they had to come out and make a statement early, and I feel we did that tonight.”

Junior Caleb Eckert led the Blazers with 28 points and 14 rebounds. He also contributed three blocked shots, three steals and four assists.

Fellow junior Blaine Minnier had his second consecutive double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high six assists.

Freshman point guard Nollin Egolf had 12 points, five assists and three steals, and junior Isaac Kauffeldt scored 10 points.

“I was really happy to see four guys score in double digits,” Sanders said. “That means we are doing the right things offensively by getting everyone involved. Caleb had a great game, but I feel everyone contributed tonight, which is always a good thing. Now we shift our focus to Thursday (at Mountain View in Winchester, Va.) and hope to have the same success.”

Also scoring for the Blazers were Josh Rowe with seven points, Ryan Winters with four and Kenneth Hott with three. Winters handed out three assists.

The Blazers outrebounded Grace 42-29 and committed only 10 turnovers while forcing 16.