The Fayette Christian Crusaders varsity boys basketball team completed the 2019-20 season recently, defeating Pike County Christian Academy 53-46 in overtime.
The Crusaders finished the season with a record of 18-3.
The contest was tight through the entire first half with the Crusaders leading 19-18 at the break. In the third period the Lions (7-1) saw Coby Rothe and Phillip Evans combine to scored 14 of their team’s 16 points as they took a 34-30 lead into the final period.
The Crusaders were trailing 39-32 with over three minutes left in the contest when they went on a 9-2 run to tie the contest at 41-41. Scoring in that run came from: Nicholas Epifano, a three-point play; two free throws by Nate Crichton; a Drew Pontious jumper with under a minute left before Zander Ivey grabbed a defensive rebound and made a layup with 39 seconds left in regulation tying the game.
The Lions ran the clock down to the final seconds but a long three-pointer by Coby Rothe missed sending the game into an extra four minute period.
In the overtime, the Crusaders outscored the Lions by an 11-6 margin including going 6 for 6 from the charity line as Nicholas Epifano scored five points, Zander Ivey scored four and Lane Hufford and Drew Pontious each scored two points.
Epifano finished the game with 22 points (including 8 of 8 from the free throw line) and 12 rebounds. Lane Hufford had 10 points, Nate Crichton scored nine points, Zander Ivey had six points and four steals. Drew Pontious had six points and six rebounds coming off the bench.
Coby Rothe led Pike County with 19 points and Phillip Evans added 18 points.
Fayette Christian was 18 of 22 from the free throw line including 10 of 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.
Pike County was only 4 of 7 from the charity stripe. Both teams had 29 rebounds with Fayette Christian having 6 offensively & Pike County with 9 offensively.
For the season, Nicholas Epifano averaged 21.2 points a game, led the team in rebounding with 168, hit 55.1% on 2-point shots.
Nicholas had seven double/double games and finished his career with 1,094 points (#1 all time at Fayette Christian).
The boys senior group of Nicholas Epifano, Lane Hufford and Christopher Tooill in their 4-year varsity team experience had no wins in their freshman year, seven wins in their sophomore season and the last two years won 14 and 18 games under Coach Gary Shaffer.
CRUSADERS BASKETBALL PROGRAM
The Fayette Crusaders boys and girls basketball programs held their Awards Presentation on Thursday, March 5 at the school’s gymnasium.
A good crowd was on hand as the special presentations were made to members of the junior high boys, girls varsity and boys varsity teams. Members of the pep squad, which is new to the school, were introduced and honored as well.