The Fayette Christian School Crusaders Junior High boys basketball team captured the school’s first state title of any age group in over 20 years after winning the BCSO (Buckeye Christian School Organization) State Basketball tournament over the weekend of Feb. 22 and 23.
The Crusaders finished the season at 13-2 overall defeating Dayton Temple 44-20 on Friday in the semifinals.
Drew Pontius led the team with 11 points, Nate Crichton with 10 and Brady Bumpus with nine.
Justin Wines added 8 points, Cade Whitaker chipped in four points and Jake Crichton added two points.
In the other semifinal, Columbus High Street beat Brooklyn Heritage by a 33-28 score.
In Saturday’s finals, High Street jumped out to a 9-4 lead over the local Crusaders but the team forced 8 second period turnovers and that helped Fayette hold Columbus scoreless as the local team was able to take a 12-9 lead at the half.
Crusaders would slowly pull away in the second half including holding High Street to only two points in the final quarter in their 28-20 win.
Brady Bumpus led the team with 10 points, Zander Ivey had eight, Nate Crichton had six including 4 of 4 from the charity line.
Drew Pontius and Jake Crichton had two points each.
Dayton Temple captured third place in the boys Junior High Division with a win over Brooklyn Heritage.
The Crusaders’ girls team placed third in their division.
After losing on Friday, 47-20 to Dayton Temple, the team came back and captured the consolation game on Saturday by a 23-17 victory over Wayside Baptist who was the No. 1 seed coming into the tournament.
Emily Barker led the way with 12 points including hitting two three-pointers, MaKenna Granger and Katelynn Crichton had four points each and Letisha Knepp with three three points.
High Street defeated Mentor in the finals by a 39-32 score.
Emily Barker was named to the All Tournament team and Fayette Christian received the Sportsmanship Award.
The Crusaders Boys Varsity entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed and was riding a 12-game win streak.
But reality hit as Dayton Temple defeated the Crusaders 44-39. The local team was ahead 9-7 before the Tigers went on a 14-0 run to lead 21-9 in the second period.
Local Crusaders stayed close but couldn’t overcome the earlier double digit deficit.
Nicholas Epifano led with 16 points, Lane Hufford had 12, Spencer Hanusik with four points and with two points each were Michael Miller, Brady Bumpus and Zander Ivey.
Fayette then played Brooklyn Heritage in the consolation game. Brooklyn jumped out to an early 19-5 lead and cruised to a 65-33 win.
Lane Hufford led the Crusaders with 17 points.
Nicholas Epifano was held to seven points in the first half as he suffered a serious ankle injury that kept him on the bench the entire second half.
Spencer Hanusik chipped in five points, Brady Bumpus had three and Zander Ivey scored one.
Meanwhile Columbus High Street Baptist won their fourth straight BCSO title defeating Dayton Temple, 69-60.
The two teams had split games during the regular season.
Lane Hufford was named to the All Tournament team and Fayette Christian School won the Sportsmanship Award.
Special thanks and a tip of the old sports cap to Randy Young for all the articles on Fayette Christian School basketball this season. Great job, Randy!