COLLEGEDALE — Thursday evening showcased top-seeded Oakwood Christian taking on No. 2 seeded Cleveland Christian in the championship game of the South Region Tournament for the Southern Christian …
COLLEGEDALE — Thursday evening showcased top-seeded Oakwood Christian taking on No. 2 seeded Cleveland Christian in the championship game of the South Region Tournament for the Southern Christian Athletic Association.
The much-anticipated matchup proved to be defensive battle from the tip. Both teams, coming off key victories in the early rounds of the tournament, seemed determined to walk away with the win and the coveted No. 1 seed for the Final Four, set to begin Monday.
Cleveland Christian held the slight edge early, but Oakwood answered with some key shots of their own to keep the game close. At the half, the Crusaders were ahead 28-25.
The second half proved to be much the same. At one point, Cleveland Christian stretched the lead to seven points, only to have the Eagles hit some clutch shots to take back the lead by one. The Crusaders stormed back to a three point lead as the clock was winding down, forcing a last second 3-point attempt by Oakwood to tie the game and send it to overtime, which failed to connect.
In the end, Cleveland Christian (16-5) pulled out the 48-45 victory to claim the South Region Tournament Championship.
“This is what we play all season for. I’m so proud of the way these guys have developed as players and as young men,” said Coach Larry Davis. “This is just the first step. We will celebrate this win, but we have a big game Monday. Tonight’s victory is about these guys. Every one of them contributed tonight in a big way. This win is for them. They deserve it."
Bo Martin once again scored a game-high 20 points. He was followed by Levi Wycoff with 10 points. Graham Stewart, Slade Saffles, and Jason Ollis all had six points.
Cleveland Christian will now enter the SCAA Final Four as the top seed and face No. 2 seed Tennessee Christian Monday evening at 7:30 at the Rossville Athletic Center.
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