The Shekinah Christian boys basketball team bounced back from a three-game losing streak to finish the season on a high note with a 69-52 non-conference road victory over Mechanicsburg Monday.
The Flames’ ended the regular season with a 15-7 overall record to go along with a 11-1 mark and a championship in the Mid-Ohio Christian Athletic League (MOCAL).
After a slow start in the opening quarter against Mechanicsburg, Shekinah went on a 13-0 run and closed the stanza with a 17-5 lead. The run was capped with back-to-back transition three-pointers from Tucker Beachy and Joel Headings. The teams played even through most of the second quarter, but a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer by Cole Gingerich gave the visitors a 37-23 advantage at the break.
“Our defense really set the tone for us early,” Shekinah coach Keith Lambert said. “We were forcing tough shots and got steals that led to transition scores. Easy baskets have been difficult to come by for us lately, so I was happy with how we jumped some passes and let our defense start our offense.”
The Flames put the game out of reach with a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter. The run was highlighted by two transition threes by John Michael Hershberger and allowed Shekinah’s lead to balloon to 23 points, which would ultimately prove too much for Mechanicsburg to overcome.
“I think our guys are starting to realize that when we are aggressive with our defense and run the floor hard we can generate some quick offense,” the coach said. “We had four straight possessions where we scored in less than 10 seconds, which is something that has been missing throughout the year for us. It’s definitely a positive that we can take with us as we prepare for the tournament.”
The Flames were led by John Michael Hershberger’s 17 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Austin Lynn added 14 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Joel Headings (13 points) and Cole Gingerich (10 points) also reached double-digits scoring. The team knocked down 10 three-pointers for the game.
Shekinah will try to take advantage of the week off prior to its Division IV Central postseason tournament opener. The Flames, the No. 4 seed, will host No. 6 Grove City Christian at Jonathan Alder High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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