The Crusaders were flat from the beginning and the iron was unkind to them, allowing the homestanding Dominion Christian School Knights to rout the Crusaders 63-42 Tuesday night in GISA non-region action. The Knights, a Class AAA school, swept the season series with the Class AA Crusaders.
GC, ranked fourth in AA, now falls to 17-7 overall while Dominion improves to 15-6.
The long trip from Griffin to Kennesaw may have been too much for the Crusaders Tuesday night because they didn’t start the game with any intensity or focus. It didn’t help matters that GC missed 10 of 14 first-quarter shots, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. Dominion came out on fire, scoring the game’s first 8 points before the road team got a layup from Jonathan Hammond to make it 8-2 at the 5:20 mark. The Knights then outscored the Crusaders 12-6 the rest of the way to lead 20-8 after one quarter of play.
The Crusaders didn’t shoot well in the second quarter, but they made nice defensive plays and held Dominion to only 6 points in the period. GC outscored Dominion 8-6 in the second, but it still trailed 26-16 at halftime.
GC finally showed its trademark intensity in the third quarter, cutting the Dominion lead to 6 points at 30-24 with less than 5:00 remaining in the period. But Dominion went on a scoring spree from there as Knights guard Harrison Kristofak sank two treys and reserve guard Tate Cooney scored five straight points, including a 3-point dagger, to end the third quarter. When the smoke cleared, Dominion took a 47-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Crusaders weren’t able to get back in the game in the fourth, as Dominion held a double-digit lead throughout the final stanza and cruised to the big win. Kristofak led all scorers with 18 points, Cooney added 13 and Tomae’ Theriot chipped in 11 for Dominion.
Wil Savage led GC with 13 points and four rebounds. Hammond added 9 points, 3 assists and 3 steals and Amir Hightower, who converted a rare 4-point play, also chipped in 4 rebounds and 3 assists for the Crusaders. GC gets back into GISA Region 4-AA action today with a home contest against LaGrange Academy at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders defeated LaGrange Academy 69-57 on the road on Jan. 4.