Bearcats top WC
Young nets 32-points, hosts advance; Indians fall to third place game

CHRISTOPHER – With 5:34 remaining in the fourth quarter of their semifinal game against Wayne City and clinging to a narrow 51-49, Christopher head coach Eric Stallman called a timeout after giving up a 5-0 run.

Coach Stallman posed a question to his team when he asked “What is it that we do well?”

Senior forward Bradley Young answered “Get to the rim.”

Coach Stallman replied “Well, let's do that.”

It was simple formula that the Bearcats used in the next four minutes of action, which triggered a 10-0 scoring run to help secure a 67-58 victory in the semifinals of the annual Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament.

Young scored seven points in the run, with 3-of-4 free throws and a pair of drives to the basket.

The second bucket came on a fast break dunk and his two additional free throws capped the run to make it 61-49 with 1:33 remaining.

But more importantly, Christopher got the defensive stops that they needed as they improved to 2-0 on the season with the victory in front of a large crowd on Thanksgiving Eve.

Young finished with 32-points and 14-rebounds as he proved to be too tough for the Indians to handle in the paint.

Six-foot-six senior Jared Curry added 10-points for the Bearcats, including his only basket of the game, a 3-pointer in that game-changing 10-0 run. He also was part of the Christopher dominant night on the glass as he also ended up with a double-double with 11-rebounds.

Curry added 7-of-10 free throws as Christopher will now play in the title game on Saturday against the winner of the Webber Township/Thompsonville semifinal to be played on Friday night.

“We got to the rim several times during that run. We were settling for the easy shots tonight but during that run we also got some 'stops' and Curry got some huge rebounds down the stretch,” said Coach Stallman. “He finished with a double-double with all of it in the second half. He just does so much for us.”

Head coach Jeff Morris saw his Wayne City club slip to 1-1 on the young season.

Travis Dickey led the Indians with 20-points on the night as this sophomore connect six times from beyond the arc.

It was his long range shot with from the left corner that caused the Christopher timeout in the fourth quarter.

The next basket scored by Wayne City was also a 3-pointer by Dickey with 1:12 remaining.

Unfortunately for the Tribe, they had went 4:20 without scoring a point between those two buckets.

By the time they got a couple of late scores by Enrico Carbonnetti and Kyle Sledge, the game was already in hand by the Bearcats.

Five late free throws by Young, Curry and sophomore Bryce Pratt sealed the win and secured a spot in the championship contest on Saturday.

Besides Dickey, Wayne City got 14-points from point guard Jayzale O'Neal, with a pair of 3-pointers and some drives to the basket.

However Christopher held the 5-foot-10 junior scoreless in the fourth quarter.

“I keep telling the kids and I've told you this before to. That is what we want to do. It's 'score, stop, score' and that is how you make your runs,” added Coach Stallman. “You can't extend your lead, you can't do anything, without doing that.”

With a young team with hardly any experience returning, Wayne City played well for the most part of the game and were right where they needed to be.

But a defensive switch by the Bearcats in the second half, going to a zone, helped stop most of the dribble-drives that were getting the Indians easy shots.

“We knew that this (rebounding) was going to be a situation. We gave up nine offensive rebounds in the first half. The kids battled and we talked about getting better position but sometimes when they are that long, and that athletic, there is only so much that you can do,” said Coach Morris. “I think we did a better job of it in the second half. We can work on it in practice and hopefully we will get better at it the rest of the season.”

Wayne City kept the game close in the first half with Dickey and O'Neal getting loose for some open shots and senior guard Jaxon King scoring six-points in the first half.

But Young continued to get to the rim and the Bearcats exploited their free throw advantage.

Getting to the rim while getting fouled for most of the night, Christopher ended up 20-of-28 from the line while Wayne City was just 1-of-5.

“They (Christopher) switched defenses on us and we really weren't as prepared as we needed to be for a zone,” said Coach Morris. “But it's something that we haven't really practiced against. We are still trying to make improvements on it.”

The Indians finished 24-of-54 from the field but they were effective from beyond the arc as they nailed 9-of-20.

Christopher ended up 21-of-43 from the field and 5-of-14 from downtown.

The 34-23 rebounding edge and the getting to the foul line sent the hosts to the title game on Saturday night.

The Indians, the defending tournament champions, will play for third place on Saturday night.

In the first game of the night, Norris City-Omaha-Enfield advanced to the consolation championship game with an easy win.

Five-foot-nine senior guard Evan Healy scored 26-points for the Fighting Cardinals as he hit five of the teams' 12 3-pointers after tossing in a tournament record 18 treys in the first game loss to Wayne City.

Trey Simmons and Jeb Baumgart added 11-points each in the victory for the Cards.

Waltonville (0-2) were topped by junior guard McKeadal Malone with 18-points.

Wayne City

Christopher (67)
– Saeger 0 1 2-2 5, Motsinger 1 1 0-0 5, Young 13 0 6-10 32, Pratt 0 2 5-6 11, Weeks 0 0 0-0 0, Hawkings 0 0 0-0 0, Curry 0 1 7-10 10, Flowers 2 0 0-0 4.
2FG-16, 3FG-5, FT-20-280, PF-12.

Waltonville (58) – Barbee 1 0 0-0 2, O'Neal 4 2 0-3 14, Smith 0 0 0-0 0, King 3 0 0-0 6, Horton 2 0 0-0 4, Carbonetti 1 0 1-2 3, Sledge 0 1 0-0 3, Henson 3 0 0-0 6, Dickey 1 6 0-0 20.
2FG-16, 3FG-4, FT-14-19, PF-20.

Fouled Out – Motsinger - Christopher; King - Wayne City.
Technical Fouls – None.