Host Cape Fear Christian Academy advanced to both the boys and girls championships of the CFCA Senior Classic with a pair of lopsided wins over visiting Crossroads Christian on Friday.
In the girls game, strong defense and team play lifted Cape Fear Christian to a 57-9 win over Crossroads Christian.
“They passed the ball better tonight,” said CFCA girls coach Bobby Lamb. “They played better as a team tonight. The 1-2-2 (defense) really bothered (Crossroads) tonight and that made a difference in the ball game, with Meredith (Taylor) getting rebounds. And Leah (Brannon) really stepped up on defense tonight, as well.”
A pair of juniors led the Eagles (2-1) in scoring, as Gracie Byrd had 23 points and Leah Brannon had 20 points.
Meredith Taylor had five points. Ella John Dupree had three points. Reyna Johnson, Perri Caroline Ennis and Laney Trainer had two points apiece.
Lamb was pleased that all 11 active members of the roster were able to get significant playing time and contribute in some fashion.
“We try to start with sportsmanship, as well as leadership,” Lamb said. “We’re not here to try to beat a team real bad, but we try to get everyone in the game that we can, if we’ve got the game in hand. We had the opportunity to do that tonight and that will make us ready for tomorrow. The bench played real well tonight. They did what I asked them.”
Senior Hope Macklin had four points to lead the Colts (0-1).
The Eagles dominated all four quarters, including shutting out the Colts in the second half. CFCA outscored Crossroads 10-3 in the first quarter, 20-6 in the second, 21-0 in the third and 6-0 in the fourth.
Holding a narrow lead after the first quarter, Cape Fear Christian raised its intensity level the rest of the way en route to a 90-59 win over Crossroads Christian in the boys game.
“Crossroads, salute to them,” said CFCA boys coach Steve Mims, Jr. “The intensity and how hard they played was just ridiculous. We had to match their intensity. And with us being the bigger team, they kind of overlooked them a little and they shouldn’t have and that team came out fighting. I had to have a little discussion with them and let them know that every day is important. Every time we step foot on this court, we’re trying to compete and set a standard.”
Five players scored in double digits for the Eagles (4-0). Cinque Lemon had 22 points. Amari Pearson had 13 points. Caden Bell and Truman Claytor had 12 points and Jabare Perry had 11 points.
Zeke Brock had eight points. David Okropiridze had three points. Tyler Henderson, Milos Prodanovic, Darris Simmons and Paul Tako had two points apiece. Silla Tako had one point.
Mims said the energy Brock brought off the bench was a major spark for the Eagles.
“Everything I ask him to do, he does it,” Mims said. “He competes at a high level. He’s earned the trust and respect of his teammates. Every day he gets better.”
Mims also said Claytor, who missed the Eagles first three games because of a death in the family, was a key player off the bench.
“We were missing him the whole week because of a death in his family,” Mims said. “It was emotional to get him back. It was a big thing to get him back, because he’s going to be a big contributor to our team.”
Junior Andrès Prince had 26 points and sophomore Sam Boyd had 13 points to pace the Colts (0-1).
Cape Fear Christian held an 11-9 lead at the end of a competitive first quarter, but dominated the second quarter 28-12 to take a 39-21 halftime lead. Crossroads saw a brief spark in the third, but Cape Fear Christian outscored Crossroads 16-13 in the third and 35-25 in the fourth.
In the first two games of the evening, New Life Christian Academy swept Berean Baptist Academy, winning the girls game, 32-20, and the boys game, 76-70.
Crossroads Christian and Berean Baptist will meet in the consolation games before Cape Fear Christian and New Life Christian face off for the tournament championships on Saturday.