Blazers prevail at Fannett-Metal

WILLOW HILL — The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers put together a 23-point fourth quarter and defeated the Fannett-Metal Tigers 77-72 Saturday in a non-league boys basketball game.

Freshman Nollin Egolf, who had scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer the previous night, scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Blazers (6-1), who battled some foul trouble with leading scorers Caleb Eckert and Blaine Minnier saddled with three fouls in the third quarter.

“Nollin’s performance was stellar,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “He was consistently good where, as a team, we were searching for someone to take control.”

The Blazers scored 18 points in each of the first three quarters and led at every quarter break – 18-12, 36-32 and 54-51. Fannett-Metal, however, battled back to take the lead several times in the fourth quarter, but Minnier, who scored 11 points in the final period, sank three 3-pointers to give the Blazers a lead they never relinquished.

Fannett-Metal came within two points late, but a basket by Kenneth Hott and foul shots by Egolf and Eckert helped the Blazers preserve the lead.

“I knew it was going to be tough to turn around and play a Saturday away game after the type of game we had the night before,” Sanders said, referring to the Blazers’ 63-61 last-second victory Friday night over Rosedale Baptist of Baltimore. “I wouldn’t say I was pleased with our performance, especially defensively, but we are always happy to come out with a win.”

Egolf scored 12 points in the third quarter as Eckert and Minnier spent separate stretches on the bench with three fouls each. The freshman point guard finished with five 3-pointers en route to his big night.

Eckert scored 20 points and added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Minnier led the team with 10 rebounds and scored 17 points for his double-double. He also had three assists and three blocked shots.

Also scoring for the Blazers were Ryan Winters with four points, Hott with three and Isaac Kauffeldt with two.

For Fannett-Metal, Wyatt Appleby scored 22 points and Hunter Hill added 21.

“Now we have to shift our focus to a busy week next week with two important league opponents (at New Life Tuesday and at home vs. Heritage Friday),” said Sanders.