FCS Crusaders undefeated after 1st week of season


By Randy Young - For the Record-Herald



The Fayette Christian School Crusaders boys and girls basketball programs are undefeated after their first week of action for the 2019-20 season.

The following is a summary of their first group of games:

Game No. 1

At Mars Hill Academy (Mason, Ohio) Nov. 26

Both the Crusaders varsity and junior high boys teams started off with big wins.

The Junior Crusaders won by a 35-14 score. All six players on the roster scored in a balanced attack with Brady Bumpus leading with nine points; Justin Wines and Drew Pontius had seven points each and Jake Crichton, Gage McDaniels and Nate Crichton each scored four points.

In the varsity boys contest the Crusaders won 45-30.

Nicholas Epifano and Lane Hufford both had a double-double. Epifano had 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Hufford

added 10 points and 12 rebounds. Zander Ivey contributed six points, Nate Crichton scored four and Brady Bumpus

added two points. At least six players this season are having to play on both the varsity and junior high squads this year.

Fayette Christian forced the Highlanders into 28 turnovers converting them into 21 points.

Game No. 2

Home vs. Bethel Baptist (Dec. 3)

The Crusaders junior high boys used a 20-6 margin in the middle quarters to secure a 36-17 win against Bethel Baptist.

Drew Pontius led the team with 11 points.

Justin Wines scored eight, Brady Bumpus chipped in six points and Gage McDaniels and Jake Crichton scored four points each. Nate Crichton added three points in scoring.

The girls’ varsity squad had their season-opener and despite a record 31 turnovers were able to win an 11-10 contest over Bethel.

Makenna Granger hit the game-winning three-pointer with seconds left to secure the win.

Granger led the team with five points. Letisha Knepp, Katelynn Crichton and Grace Sheeter each scored two points.

The Crusaders boys varsity jumped out to a 13-4 first quarter lead and ran their record to 2-0 with a 58-22 win against the Bethel Baptist School team.

Nicholas Epifano led the scoring again with 24 points.

Lane Hufford had 16 points and Zander Ivey added seven points.

Other Crusader scorers were Brady Bumpus with five points, Nate Crichton with four and Drew Pontius with two.

The Crusaders forced the Mustangs into 27 turnovers in the contest outscoring Bethel 22-2 on points off turnovers.

Game No. 3

At Lebanon Emmanuel Baptist (Dec. 5)

This was a scheduled varsity boys and girls doubleheader for the Crusaders.

The girls varsity improved to 2-0 for the season with a 34-18 victory and played much better, cutting their turnovers down to 13 in the contest and getting seven players in the scoring department. Katelynn Crichton led the team with 10 points (all in the first half) as the team held the Emmanuel Crusaders scoreless in the first quarter leading 12-0.

Emily Barker and Letisha Knepp had eight points each with two points each from Makenna Granger, Ryleigh Toill, Elli Lewis and Keziah Knepp.

The Lady Crusaders forced 23 turnovers converting them into 26 points.

The varsity boys raised their record to 3-0 overall with a 63-18 win. The Crusaders shot 56 percent from the field (28 of 50) while the Emmanuel Crusaders were only 7 of 43 for 16 percent shooting including 3 of 20 on three-point shots.

Epifano and Hufford again combined to lead the team in scoring with Nicholas scoring 18 points and Lane having 13 points.

The third senior on the team, Christopher Toill, though he didn’t score, led the team in rebounding with eight including three on the offensive glass.

Drew Pontius added 10 points, while Brady Bumpus and Zander Ivey scored five points each. The Crichton brothers — Jake and Nate — had four points each. Justin Wines and Gage McDaniels each added two points.

The next home game for the Crusaders is Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Belpre Christian.

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By Randy Young

For the Record-Herald