Blazers survive at New Life

FREDERICK, Md. – Despite poor foul shooting and 21 turnovers, the Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers emerged with a 67-59 victory over New Life Christian Tuesday evening in a Mason Dixon Christian Conference boys basketball game.

In addition to having the 21 turnovers, the Blazers (12-2, 6-1 MDCC) missed 19 free throws.

“Tonight’s was an ugly game,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “We knew we wanted to control pace and we knew we had to protect the basketball, but New Life did a good job of rushing us with their defense, causing a lot of problems and turnovers. I also think missing 19 free throws didn’t help us in any way. We have to do a better job of converting those free opportunities from the free throw line.”

The Blazers jumped ahead 11-3 but New Life cut the margin to 14-12 by the end of the first quarter and led briefly in the second. The Blazers made a run near the end of the half and led by a dozen, 33-21, at the break.

The Blazers maintained anywhere from an 8- to 13-point cushion for most of the second half until New Life charged to within four in the final minute. Nollin Egolf and Ryan Winters each hit a pair of free throws in the final 30-plus seconds to seal things.

Caleb Eckert led the Blazers with 23 points, 20 rebounds and three blocked shots. Blaine Minnier scored 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds, blocked a pair of shots and contributed a team-high five assists. Egolf had 16 points and three assists, Winters scored six points and Isaac Kauffeldt added five points.

“The good news is we did come out with the win,” Sanders said. “We will see them again on Friday (at home) and try to fix our mistakes and play a little better.”