CCS boys nipped by Rochester in finals
The Cambridge Christian basketball squads converged upon Mankato for last weekend’s season wrap-up Christian Athletic League tournament hosted by Immanuel Lutheran. The Warrior boys went 1-1 to finish in 2nd place to Rochester Area Home Schools in a tight 65-62 championship battle between the two rivals.
“This game was a back and forth battle between two strong teams. We went on a 17-9 run to go up by one point at half. We came out strong in the first part of the second half, outscoring them 20-14 and were up by nine points left with just under 9:00 to go in the game,” described Warrior Coach Jeff Bonkoski. “The last three minutes were back and forth again.”
With about 11 seconds to go CCS scored and was down by one. RAHS converted a long inbound pass for an easy layup to put them up by three.
“We came right back to be met by their smothering defense all out at the three-point line. We were able to get a decent shot off, but it bounced on the rim twice and fell out at the buzzer,” continued Coach Bonkoski. “When it came down to it, we lost this game at the free throw line. We had worked so hard to improve our team free throw average this year, but in the end we only shot 7-of-15 from the line.”
Grant Taylor and Josh Roble had outstanding offensive games, each scoring 17 points, with Roble shooting 5-for-5 on ‘3s’. Peter Maring added 10 points, and Jake Bergman scored 7 for the Warriors.
• After a first-round bye, the Warriors began the tourney with an 86-59 win over Christian Life. Five Warriors scored in double-digits: Bergman (19), Maring (19), Alex Lecceardone (15), Taylor (13) and Justin Roble (11).
“The semifinal win was a huge team effort. The defense took over in the second half, and we came out strong from the locker room,” said Coach Bonkoski whose team closed the memorable 2013 season with a 24-2 mark.
RAHS beats Warrior girls in finals to sweep CAL titles
The Cambridge Christian girls basketball squad closed their strong winter at 19-5 after taking 2nd place to Rochester Area Home Schools in the March 9 CAL championship.
The Warriors, getting a first-round bye, opened action Friday by defeating neighboring rival Faith Foreston 49-28 in the semifinals.
“We had a strong start against foreston in the semifinals. We really smothered them on defense with a halftime score was 29-8,” commented CCS Coach Brian Bergman.
Kristin Bergman paced the Warriors with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 6 steals. Kellie Pedersen contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds, with more balance coming from Shelby Doble (8 points/7 rebounds, Seble Doble (7 points), Jerusalem Solomon (4 points), Caitlin Walburg (2), and Emily Fridberg (1).
The finals saw RAHS, led by Rachel Hart’s 21 points, bring its good defense to the finals to win 45-29 over the Warrior girls.
“We had a hard time making shots against a much taller Rochester team in the championship. We shot 10-for-58 from the floor, not nearly good enough to win a championship,” said Coach Bergman. “I felt the game was much closer than the score indicated. We forced Rochester to make many mistakes they normally don’t make, but we could not capitalize on the offensive end. Our girls played very hard and deserve a lot of credit.”
Bergman led with 9 points, Shelby Doble scored 8, Walburg and Solomon 5, and Pedersen 2.
• Kristin Bergman and Shelby Doble were named to both the All-tournament and All-League teams, with Seble Doble named All -league Honorable Mention.