The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers moved one step closer to clinching the Mason Dixon Christian Conference regular-season boys basketball championship by earning a 57-52 victory at Shalom Christian Thursday.
The Blazers (17-2, 10-1 MDCC) scored the game’s first four points but fell behind 18-11 at the end of the first quarter. However, they outscored the Flames 20-8 in the second period to go ahead 31-26 at halftime.
“We came out in this game a little flat and gave them an early lead,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “Obviously, the second quarter was huge for us. Defensively we just needed to settle down and make plays to fuel our offense, and we were able to do that.”
The Blazers never trailed in the second half and built their largest lead, 37-28, in the third quarter. Shalom trimmed the margin to one, 41-40, at the end of the third quarter, but the Blazers put up 16 fourth-quarter points to secure their 10th straight win.
Three Blazers scored in double figures: Caleb Eckert with 17 points, Nollin Egolf with 16 and Blaine Minnier with 10. As they have multiple times this year, Eckert (14 rebounds) and Minnier (10 rebounds) finished with double-doubles. Egolf lead the team with six assists, and Eckert had four blocked shots.
Also scoring for the Blazers were Ryan Winters and Isaac Kauffeldt with six points each and Kenneth Hott with two. Kauffeldt had a big night with nine rebounds and four assists, and Winters hit two clutch foul shots down the stretch.
The Blazers can wrap up the top seed in the MDCC playoffs with a win Tuesday at Faith Christian.
“As we are nearing the end of the season, our message is to stay focused and sharp,” Sanders said. “You never know what can happen in the tournament, so we need to be as prepared as possible.”