Elite company — that’s where junior Matthew Bowden has etched himself into in his basketball career at Christian Heritage Academy (CHA).
Bowden eclipsed the 1,000 point threshold on the road against Parkway Christian Jan. 25, needing 27 points to reach the mark in Thursday’s 66-56 victory. Fittingly enough, Bowden found the final point from the free throw line, which head coach Tim Wilson calls his “bread and butter.” He finished the night with 30 points, seven rebounds.
Bowden’s parents, Chris and Jennifer, presented their son with a basketball that recognized his accomplishment, along with a congratulatory embrace.
“We’re so proud of Matthew and the work that he has put in to reach this milestone,” Wilson added about the achievement,” such a great accomplishment!”
When the varsity Knights (8-3) weren’t capturing front-page worthy storylines, their play was similarly rewarding. The only loss in the last week came against a defensive-centered Timberlake, where CHA fell, 72-66. Contributions from players like Ferguson Boone (11 points, five steals) and Austin Spence put the team in position, but the early lead built by the Tornadoes proved to be insurmountable.
After the Knights faced Parkway, Faith Christian (Hurt) awaited them for a Saturday matchup at the Castle. This was a makeup game from Dec. 5 when Lucas Hager sustained a traumatic internal injury while on the court that forced him out of the game. In recognition of Hager’s contributions prior to his exit, they left the scores the way the were before the game was halted.
In CHA’s 57-26 victory, Bowden tacked on 25 more points to his 1,000 point total, while Boone added 14. Hager put up 10 points, three rebounds and two blocks in only the first few minutes of play. The Knights shared a meal with Faith after the game to thank the players for how they responded.
“They showed a lot of character and Christ-likeness in their actions,” Wilson said about the occurrence.
CHA’s middle school team (7-1) continues to impress in the games they play in this season. Its 31-27 victory over Timberlake saw Evan Lawrence strike for 15 points, 4 rebounds, with Ethan Craig adding 14 points, five rebounds. Then against Parkway, the Knights toppled over Parkway to the tune of 45-32. The Craig and Lawrence tandem combined for 33 points, with Craig snagging eight rebounds and Lawrence swiping the ball six times.
Efforts like these can’t be misinterpreted as being the work of a lone player or coach — it’s a collective effort, as mentioned by Wilson.
“I can’t take the credit for the success that we’ve had this year without giving recognition to the men who have contributed so much to the team,” he said. “I have two of the best assistant coaches a coach could ask for in Jeff Lawrence and Rob Johnson. I continue to be amazed by their knowledge of the game, level of commitment, and the love that they have for these boys.”
CHA @ Timberlake Christian
5 & 6 p.m.