By SHAWN MICHAEL

For Public Opinion

MARION - A pregame celebration of scoring 1,000 career points would be enough for most players on any given night.

But not for Shalom Christian's Jeffrey McCracken, who thanked the school and local fans with a 24-point, six-rebound effort in the Flames' 63-35 Mason-Dixon Christian Conference win over Cumberland Valley Christian on Friday night.

"It was nice to be recognized," McCracken said of the ovation he received before tipoff, "because I spent so many years trying to get there."

Matt Wenger chipped in with 13 points and Alex Crilley scored 12 for the Flames (9-9, 7-4 MDCC), who split the season series with the Blazers (6-12, 2-9 MDCC).

But this night belonged to McCracken, who scored seven straight points to open the game for Shalom. However, he did not take the credit for his fast start.

"It all started with our defense because a lot of my points were just fastbreak-and-ones," McCracken said.

The Blazers were able to keep it close through the first quarter, trailing by only four, but Shalom pulled away with a 17-0 run in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 37-17 advantage.

Flames coach Danley Shank attributed the halftime lead to his stout defense.

"Tonight we were able to get to get some stops, especially in the second quarter, holding them to seven points and going on a run," Shank said.

The second half was much like the first, as Shalom continued to force turnovers and convert easy buckets in transition. Shank was very happy with the way his players set the tone.


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"I thought the guys really came to compete, and we played smart basketball," he said.

The Blazers could not find any momentum for much of the night. Only four players scored the entire game, and CVC finished the game with 23 turnovers.

"We just couldn't match their intensity," Blazers coach Mike Sanders said, "and we made a lot of mistakes - our passing was off tonight."

Jeremiah Graves led the way with 17 points for CV Christian and Conner Chapman added eight.

Shalom Christian 63

Cumb. Valley Christian 35

CV CHRISTIAN

Josh Sanders 3 0-0 6, Conner Chapman 2 4-4 8, Jeremiah Graves 6 3-5 17, Darrin Baker 2 0-0 4, Harper Lee 0 0-0 0, Josh Baker 0 0-0 0, Aaron McBeth 0 0-0 0, Spencer Propst 0 0-0 0, Daniel Sung 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 7-9 35.

SHALOM CHRISTIAN

Matt Wenger 5 1-2 13, Logan Benton 1 2-2 4, Jeffrey McCracken 8 7-8 24, Alex Crilley 5 0-0 12, Quentin Clapper 2 2-2 6, Jake Holderman 1 0-0 2, Josh Coldsmith 1 0-0 0, Hunter Martin 0 0-0 0, Levi Nicklas 0 0-0 0, Barrett Eshbaugh 0 0-0 0, Connor Tiedemann 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-14 63.

CV Christian 10 7 11 7 - 35

Shalom Christian 14 23 13 13 - 63

3-point shots - CVC 2 (Graves 2); SC 5 (Wenger, Crilley 2, McCracken). Shooting - CVC 13-42 (31%); SC 23-49 (47%). Rebounds - CVC 3 (D.Baker, Graves 5); SC 20 (McCracken 6). Assists - CVC 5 (Chapman 3); SC 11 (McCracken 5). Turnovers - CVC 23; SC 10. Fouled out - D.Baker.

Next game: CVC: Monday, at home vs. Faith Christian, 7:30 Shalom: Tuesday, at home vs. New Life, 7.

GIRLS

SHALOM 46, CV CHRISTIAN 23: Shalom Christian used its strong defense to defeat Cumberland Valley Christian on Friday night in a Mason-Dixon Christian Conference.

Tori Yoder powered the Flames with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She also added three assists. Lydia Harris added 12 points for Shalom, which remains undefeated in league play (14-4, 11-0 MDCC).

The Blazers (2-15, 1-8 MDCC) were able to keep the game much closer than the team's first meeting with Shalom, and coach Mike Sanders liked the effort he saw from his girls.

"We started out well, just couldn't get the ball in the bucket," Sanders said, "but the girls are running the offense better."

Morgan Keck led CV Christian with seven points, and Maddie Keck chipped in six.

Shalom Christian 46

Cumb. Valley Christian 23

CV CHRISTIAN

Karlee Kipe 1 0-0 2, Morgan Keck 2 3-10 7, Karli Fogal 0 2-4 2, Loryn Sanders 0 1-2 1, Maddie Keck 3 0-2 6, Hannah Turner 1 0-0 3, Emily Ocker 1 0-0 2, Megan Bard 0 0-0 0, Tori Stouffer 0 0-2 0, Jessie Morrow 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 6-18 23.

SHALOM CHRISTIAN

Kanry Baum 1 0-0 2, Lydia Harris 6 0-2 12, Torie Yoder 8 3-3 19, Kara Lehman 1 2-2 4, Lydia Tissue 3 1-2 8, Brooke Poe 0 1-2 1, Lexy Poe 0 0-0 0, Jessica Grove 0 0-0 0, Rachel Holderman 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Knepper 0 0-0 0, Brooke Kuhns 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-11 46

3-point shots - CVC 1 (Turner). Rebounds - CVC 35 (Keck 15); SC 28 (Yoder 10). Assists - CVC 2 (Fogal, Turner); SC 8 (Yoder 3).

Next game: CVC: Tuesday, at home vs. Faith Christian, 7 Shalom: Tuesday, at home vs. New Life, 5:30.