Blazers wrap up MDCC regular-season title

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. – The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers wrapped up the Mason Dixon Christian Conference regular-season boys basketball championship by defeating Faith Christian 60-30 Tuesday evening.

The Blazers earned their 20th win of the season against two losses. They are 11-1 in the league and earned a first-round bye in the MDCC tournament next week. They automatically advance to the MDCC Final Four Feb. 21-22 in Martinsburg.

Junior Caleb Eckert had a dominant night on the boards for the Blazers, pulling down a career-high 29 rebounds to go along with his 23 points. Eckert scored 10 of the Blazers’ 12 points in the first quarter and snagged 18 rebounds in the first half. He also blocked three shots.

The Blazers languished early on offense, leading 12-8 at the end of the first quarter and only 19-15 late in the second quarter. However, they scored the final eight points of the half to go up by a dozen, 27-15. They also held Faith to 15 points in the second half.

“Going into this game we wanted to play well defensively, and I feel we were able to do that pretty consistently tonight,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “We struggled a little bit offensively by missing some easy ones, but that happens every now and then.”

The Blazers were balanced in scoring with Nollin Egolf scoring 13 points, Isaac Kauffeldt 11 and Blaine Minnier nine. Ryan Winters and Kenneth Hott each added two points. Egolf and Minnier each made three steals, and Minnier blocked two shots.

The Blazers committed only 10 turnovers while forcing 15 and held a whopping 48-29 advantage in rebounds.

“I’m proud of how our team stayed composed and didn’t panic even when things didn’t go our way,” Sanders said. “Now our focus moves to Thursday (Senior Night at home against McConnellsburg) and then the tournament next week.”

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Cumberland Valley Christian’s Caleb Eckert (23) posts up against Faith Christian and looks for an entry pass from Nollin Egolf in the Blazers’ 60-30 victory Tuesday evening.