In early action, the Lady Crusaders battled back from a 19-point halftime deficit to close the gap to within six toward the end of the game, before eventually falling short in a 62-48 final.
Coach John Thompson said "teamwork and a hard work ethic showed a lot of improvement tonight against a very tough team. The girls showed promise with a never-give-up attitude. I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds."
Lady Crusader Acacia Thompson had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals.
Kelsey Farris also had a strong showing with a double-double, putting in 17 points and 14 rebounds, plus she blocked two shots and copped a pair of steals.
Carrie Claypoole helped out with five points and five rebounds, while Jennifer Corbitt added four points and five caroms. Abigail Wooden and Dallas Kellar rounded out the Lady Crusader scoring with three and two points.
In the late game, the Crusaders played from behind most of the game. Early foul trouble forced the boys to "relax on defense, costing us in the second half" said coach Larry Davis, who’s team fell 67-37.
Xavier Jordan picked up where he left off prior to the holidays with his fifth double-double of the season, putting in 13 points and clearing 20 rebounds.
Bo Martin collected nine points and three steals, while Matthew Chambless added seven points, Naaman Mowery four, Briar Lowe three and Chris Reynolds one.
Cleveland Christian hosts TCPS Tuesday night with middle school games starting at 4 p.m., with the varsity to tip-off at 6 p.m.
CMS Lady Raiders
The Cleveland Middle School Lady Raiders seventh- and eighth-grade teams recently squared off against Lake Forest for the second time this season and walked away with a pair of wins.
The younger CMS girls claimed a 44-11 victory, while the varsity squad posted a 45-24 win.
The seventh-grade Lady Raiders opened up the first quarter with a steal, pass and layup resulting from Brooke McCurdy and Lauren Stutzman creating offense from defense. McCurdy next nailed a 3-pointer as the Lady Raider offense and defense were both clicking, leading to a 26-3 halftime advantage
McCurdy led all scorers with 21 points, while Lauren Stutzman contributed nine points. Kaitlyn Goodman, Braylee Franklin, Lauren Langford, Erin Stutzman, Lauren Brownfield, Hannah Longley, and Sophia Lakotosh each contributed two points.
Shancice Robinson, Riley Suits, Sydnie Callahan, and Emma Flowers also played excellent defense for the Lady Raiders, who are now 15-12 on the season.
For LFMS, Ashley Gatlin scored six points with Gracie Koger and Emily Peterson contributing two points each.
The CMS eighth-grade squad improved to 11-1 on the year as Amber Morman led all scorers with 17 points, with Gabria Hubbard and Sofia Stomatiatus netting a dozen each.
For Lake Forest, S. Morgan scored nine points and Pell added five points.
Lady Raider coach Kelli Fulton commented, “Our seventh- and eighth-grades teams are progressing consistently. I am very proud of the effort that we bring to both games and practices. I have such awesome kids to work with and they are a pleasure to coach. Lake Forest didn’t quit on us though, and you have to give them credit for working hard and competing until the end. That is what it is about.”
Also recently, the Lady Raiders secured a couple of easy victories over Baylor with the seventh-grade wining 34-5, while the eighth-grade girls posted a 37-20 victory.
McCurdy once again paced the seventh-graders with 21 points, while Lauren Stutzman scored three and handed off several assists. Both Stutzman girls, plus McCurdy, Flowers, Longley, Robinson and Franklin each contributed excellent defensive performances for the Cleveland.
Led by the offensive and defensive efforts of Stomatiatus, Hubbard and Morman, the eighth-grade Lady Raiders closed the first quarter with a 10-4 lead, but put the game away with an explosion for 17 points in the third quarter.
Morman led all scorers with 12 points, plus snatched a half dozen boards.
Hubbard contributed 10 points, five rebounds and four assists to the winning effort, while Stomatiatus scored seven points, grabbed seven boards and passed out a pair of assists. Matilda Lee, Lauren Lee and Lauren Stutzman all played excellent defense for the Lady Raiders.