Fayette Christian Crusaders start season at 3-2

By Randy Young - For the Record-Herald

The Fayette Christian Crusaders started off the first part of the 2018-19 season with a 3-2 record after a home opener and then playing in the Milford Tournament.

The season started with a 47-32 home win over Licking County Christian on Nov. 27.

Nicholas Epifano led the team in the victory with 19 points including hitting two three-point field goals.

Lane Hufford added 14 points.

Other scorers were Michael Miller with eight, Spencer Hanusik added six points and Zander Ivey hit a three-pointer.

Milford Tournament

The Crusaders went 2-2 in the tournament coming in third place. The format had all four teams playing each other once and then playing in the finals or the consolation game, depending on their records.

In the opener, the Crusaders beat the host Milford Baptist, 47-37.

Nicholas Epifano led the team with 20 points including hitting five threes. Spencer Hanusik added 10 points with Lane Hufford scoring eight points.

Zander Ivey scored six points, including a three-pointer and Michael Miller’s three points finished out the scoring.

The Crusaders then faced Emmanuel Christian and took their first loss of the season with a 40-32 setback.

An 18-9 third period turned a close contest to a runaway by Emmanuel as they extended a 15-11 halftime lead to a 33-20 advantage heading into the final quarter.

Nicholas Epifano led the Crusaders scoring with 16 points. Lane Hufford with 14 and Michael Miller with two points wrapped up the local squad’s scoring.

The final round robin contest was with Royalmont Academy. Entering the game the winning team knew they would go the finals while the losing team would head to the consolation game.

Despite the Crusaders having the rebounding edge they couldn’t offset the 17 turnovers they had and a 10-5 deficit in made free throws led to their 37-34 loss.

Lane Hufford paced the Crusaders with 16 points, Nicholas Epifano had seven, Zander Ivey added six points and Spencer Hanusik chipped in five points.

That set up a rematch in the consolation game in which the Crusaders ran away with a 49-33 decision over the host Milford Christian team.

The Crusaders, despite being out-shot at the charity line (11 of 15 compared to 2 of 9), took advantage of Milford’s 15 turnovers to score 13 points.

Nicholas Epifano led the scoring with 20 points, Lane Hufford chipped in 14 points, Spencer Hanusik added nine and Michael Miller scored six.

That put the team at 3-2 overall in just the first week of the season under head coach Gary Shaffer. That compares to the team’s 0-5 start last year.

The Milford Tournament was held Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 1.

By Randy Young

For the Record-Herald