There’s no other way of putting it — it’s crunch time for Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) basketball.
Nearly closing out the regular season schedule came with five games spread over both teams, where the Knights varsity (9-4) split their two games, while the middle school (9-2) left with two wins to only one loss.
CHA hit the road Jan. 29 to face a solid Timberlake team. Dubbed the “team to beat” for the middle school by head coach Tim Wilson, the Tornadoes kept the Knights at bay the entire night as they fell, 50-38. Evan Lawrence led the way with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists, with Ethan Craig behind him with 14 points and two rebounds.
Later, the varsity did its thing and junior Matthew Bowden did his. Bowden notched 45 points, eight rebounds, with junior Ferguson Boone helping him out with 11 points as the Knights took down Timberlake, 62-57.
“[It was] a solid win and strong team effort,” Wilson added about the game’s result.
Then, the teams split up for the rest of its games last week. The middle school triumphed over a Temple squad, 35-27, on Jan. 30 behind timely buckets and solid defense. Craig lead the way with 16 points, five steals, while William Johnson added eight points, six steals.
And finally, on Feb. 1, the Knights faced off against their new rival in the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics (VACA) — Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy (SMLCA). The Ospreys went into halftime with a seven point lead at half, but left with what appeared to be a much larger one, as that lead grew quickly to an eventual 86-67 beating.
Keeping Bowden to only 15 points — almost half of his average — CHA got solid production out of Blake Johnson and Boone, who posted 19 and 18 points, respectively. Johnson also tallied nine rebounds.
The middle school kicked off the VACA South Region tournament on Saturday (Feb. 3) with another home game against Temple to begin it. Coming out strong and maintaining the momentum throughout, the Knights dropped Temple, 41-23. It was an all defensive affair in the second half, where CHA held Temple to just nine points.
Craig led the way offensively with 12 points, four rebounds, and Lawrence served as the catalyst for success with eight points, eight assists and five rebounds.
“Looking forward to our upcoming game with Faith Christian School,” Wilson said after Saturday’s win, “and hopefully, we can keep the Knight Train rolling right along!”
Second Round – VACA South
Middle School (only) vs. Faith Christian
Mon., Feb. 5
Away, 5 p.m.
Regular Season Finale
CHA vs. Westover
Th., Feb. 8
Away, 4:30 & 7 p.m.