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Morning Sun
  • Sunrise Christian sweeps Lancer Classic titles

  • The Sunrise Christian Academy Buffaloes won their first Lancer Classic by blowing out the Columbus Titans 59-34.



    Leashja Grant opened up the scoring for the Buffaloes with an inside shot. There would be plenty of more where that would come from her on Friday.

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  • The Sunrise Christian Academy Buffaloes won their first Lancer Classic by blowing out the Columbus Titans 59-34.
    Leashja Grant opened up the scoring for the Buffaloes with an inside shot. There would be plenty of more where that would come from her on Friday.
    Grant proved to be a powerful force to deal with as she finished the night with 18 points.
    “She’s awesome. She has all the tools to be great,” said head coach Terry Michael. “The sky is the limit for her. She’s got all the tools, she’s fast, she’s big and strong and knows the game pretty well.”
    Grant will be playing college ball next year at NJCAA powerhouse Trinity Valley College, a team that won last year’s national championship with an undefeated record.
    “We did pretty well of holding them to only nine points in the first half,” Michael said. “The girls just played hard man-to-man defense in the second half and it worked out well for us.”
    The Titans could not have asked for a more sluggish start as the Buffaloes cruised to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
    “That’s what we really like to do,” Michael said. “We played well ahead way much better than we do behind. That’s just good defense does and that’s what we try to do each game.”
    It would not be until late in the first quarter when the Titans would finally get on the board thanks to a free throw by Lauren Anderson.
    The Buffaloes’ strategy went like this: have Grant rebound the ball and then pass it down court to a wide-open teammate to score an easy layup. Often times, that teammate would be Janell Kidd, who finished the night with 12 points and was an all-tournament selection along with Grant.
    The Titans went on a 6-0 run in the second quarter. They limited the Buffaloes to only four points in the entire quarter while tripling their total number of points from the first quarter to make a 22-9 halftime score.
    Sunrise Academy raced to a 20-point lead before Kristina Froebe made two free throws for the Titans.
    Columbus went on a 4-0 run to end the third quarter.
    Grant’s 4-0 gave the Buffaloes a fast start to the fourth quarter. A stolen pass by Kidd and a layup on a another fast break made it 50-28 with 3 minutes remaining and the Buffaloes were not to be denied the remainder of the game.
    Froebe was the Titans’ leading scorer with 10 and was an all-tournament selection along with Olivia Murdock.
    The all-tournament team included: Amy Martin and Rachel Bole of Southeast, Bricynn Johnson and Jaymie Nesbitt of Oswego, Jordyn Tuck and Kacy Phillips of St. Paul, Janell Kidd and Leashja Grant of Sunrise Academy, and Olivia Murdock and Katrina Froebe of Columbus.
    Page 2 of 3 - Sunrise Christian boys 50, Columbus 40
    The Sunrise Christian Academy Buffaloes used a fourth-quarter surge to protect their lead against the Columbus Titans and preserve their victory in the Lancer Classic championship.
    The game started out back-and-fourth from both sides with different lead changes in the first quarter. The two clubs scored one 3-pointer in the opening minutes and the Titans took an early 5-3 lead. Sunrise went in front and added an outside shot by Seth Young to take a 12-8 lead. Young scored from inside as time expired in the first quarter.
    An and-one by Blake Mackensen put Columbus behind by only one point with 4:52 before halftime. But then, the Buffaloes went on a 6-0 run to keep the Titans in the rearview mirror for the rest of the night.
    “I thought we came out hard,” said head coach Michael Fager. “We knew we had to be tough on defense. It was our mindset.”
    Down by seven at the half, the Titans managed to cut it to just three. However, the Buffaloes had an answer for every time Columbus came back.
    Coach Fager took a timeout to get his team back on track and an outside shot by Elijah Keller to spark an 8-0 run and a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter.
    A lay-up by Justin Graham made it a five-point game with 5:02 remaining before the Buffaloes went on another run.
    A technical foul called against Aaron Bigando sent Young to the line for a three-point play.
    Young was the leading scorer for the Buffaloes, scoring 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team along with Marcus Fager.
    Bigando had 14 points and Jordan Morgan had eight. Both were named to the all-tournament team along with Nate Bole.
    In addition, the all-tournament team included Cole Becker of Marmaton Valley, Travis Schenker of Oswego, Austin O’Brien of St. Paul, and Josh Thompson of Southeast.
    St. Paul boys 53, Southeast 37
    The St. Paul Indians derailed the Southeast Lancers for third place in the Lancer Classic with a 16-point win. Anthony Diskin was the leading scorer as he finished with 15 points while teammate Austin O’Brien had 11.
    The game got off to a sluggish start with both teams struggling to finish. Only 19 points could be mustered out between the two sides after the first quarter with the Indians ahead by five.
    Caleb Biancarelli got the second quarter off to a hot start by making an outside shot to close the gap. A free throw by Daniel Peak made it a one-point deficit.
    That would be as close as the Lancers would get.
    The Indians pushed to a 19-11 lead with 2:03 left before the half while going on a 7-0 run.
    Page 3 of 3 - The third quarter was a different story in terms of scoring for both teams. Peak answered an early Indian field goal with a three pointer.
    Playing a more up-tempo game, the Indians exploded to a 27-16 lead while going on an 11-4 run. They had a comfortable 33-21 lead heading into the fourth.
    Part of the trouble the Lancers had was possession. One in which was evident after a Steven Uber lost control of the ball while attempting a layup.
    O’Brien and Diskin both hit one outside shot within two minutes to go up by 15 with 3:05 left in the game and rode that momentum until the end.

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