Delaware Christian narrowly beat Shekinah Christian 67-66 during their first meeting of the year. It was one of many early-season close losses for the Flames (4-5, 3-2). The new Mid-Ohio Christian Athletic League rivals had another close game Thursday, Jan. 5 and once again the outcome was in favor of the home team.
A sloppy first half saw the Delaware Christian Eagles and their active 2-3 zone jump out to a 23-14 halftime lead. In the first half Shekinah Christian had more turnovers (15) than points (14). The second half signaled a change in focus for the hosts as the Flames committed only three turnovers after the break en route to scoring 44 points in a 58-49 victory.
Momentum seemed to shift midway through the third quarter when Chris Conte knocked down a long 3-pointer from only a few steps in front of halfcourt. On the ensuing possession, Tucker Beachy picked off a pass and finished with a layup and a three-point play, giving Shekinah a 28-27 lead midway through the period.
The game remained close throughout the next 10 minutes of action, but with the game tied at 46-46 and 3:00 to play, Conte converted on another long 3-pointer that would prove to be the difference. Strong team defense and clutch free throws by Conte, Stephen Byars and Ben Hershberger paved the way for a 12-0 run in the final minutes. The Eagles made a late 3-pointer to provide a final outcome of 58-49 in favor of the Flames.
Balanced scoring was key for Shekinah as nine players scored. Austin Lynn paced the Flames with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Beachy added 12 points. Conte scored 11 points, had six assists and grabbed five rebounds. Ben Hershberger contributed in several categories with six points, eight rebounds, seven assists, a key block and the game sealing steal. Delaware Christian (5-2, 4-1) was led by Adam Standley with 18 points.
Shekinah Christian will host a full slate of games on Saturday, Jan. 7 against Horizon Science. The Junior High game will start things off at 2:30 p.m., the boys JV game will be played at 4 p.m. and be followed by the girls varsity game at 5:30 p.m. and the boys varsity game at 7 p.m.