Blazers’ Egolf eclipses 2,000 points

MT. VERNON, Ohio – The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers fell short in their final game of the season last weekend, but the National Christian Schools Athletic Association boys basketball tournament at Mount Vernon Nazarene University contained some memorable moments.

Senior Nollin Egolf eclipsed the 2,000-point career scoring mark during Friday’s victory over Hearts for Jesus. Egolf sank a layup in the third quarter to become the school’s first 2,000-point scorer.

“What a huge individual accomplishment for Nollin,” Blazers coach Austin Sanders said. “He is, without a doubt, the purest scorer that this school has ever seen in its 48 years of existence. While he is a great basketball player, Nollin is an even better kid and a great teammate. I have been blessed to be a part of his high school basketball journey and look forward to seeing him thrive in whatever his future holds.”

The Blazers reached the championship game of their division before losing 67-59 to Columbia County Christian of Bloomsburg. The Blazers, who finished the season with an 11-13 record, fell behind early and never were able to get a lead. They did put together a rally to cut a double-digit deficit to six late in the game.

Egolf scored 29 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made three steals and handed out four assists. Senior Aaron Minnier scored 15 points, all in the second half, and pulled down eight rebounds.

Also, Reece Hunsberger had eight points and seven rebounds, Thomas Garvin scored five points, and Gage Brookens added two points and three assists.

In the 52-39 semifinal win over Hearts for Jesus Christ of Fairview, Ohio, Egolf and Minnier registered double-doubles. Egolf scored 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to go along with five assists and six steals. Minnier scored 13 points and collected 11 rebounds.

Garvin had seven points and three assists. Hunsberger had four points, Brookens three, Ryan Crawford three and Josh Rudy one.

In their opening game, the Blazers beat Kingsway Christian of Orrville, Ohio, 62-51. Egolf had 32 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Minnier added six points and seven rebounds. Hunsberger scored seven points, Evan Statler six and Rudy four.

“I was really pleased with how well we played in this tournament,” Sanders said. “It’s always nice to win your first two games and compete in a division championship game. Unfortunately, we came up just short, but I was pleased with how we didn’t go down without a fight. You hate to lose the last game of the season and really feel for the seniors, but I’m proud of what they have accomplished during their time here and look forward to seeing them thrive in their future endeavors.”