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GIRLS BASKETBALL

Girls Basketball | Christopher rolls to win over Johnston City

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CHRISTOPHER — It was an electric atmosphere at Christopher High School on Monday evening. The home side was full as Bearcats fans celebrated their sensational 20-1 team and honored six players before the game as part of Senior Night festivities. Fans also got to celebrate yet another win as the 'Cats strolled to a 48-17 Black Diamond Conference West victory over Johnston City.

Christopher improves to 6-0 in the league and 21-1 overall, which includes eight straight wins, while the Indians slide to 3-5 in the conference and 10-11 overall.

The Bearcats jumped out to an 8-5 lead at the end of one period of play. Junior All-Stater Amiah Hargrove got the home team off on the right foot with a jumper along the left elbow for a 2-0 lead.

Emma Moake countered with a 3-pointer to give the Tribe a brief 3-2 advantage. Emily VanHoorebeke answered for the 'Cats with a jumper to make it 4-3.

Zoee Cullum scored in Johnston City's next possession for the visitors' final lead at 5-4. Christopher responded with back-to-back buckets from Hargrove - one on a jumper and one on a layup down low in the paint.

Van Hoorebeke drained another jumper for a 10-5 lead. Hargrove scored again. Tori Crain got a steal and raced in for a two-pointer. Hargrove scored off an alley-oop pass and then once more on a lay-in basket for a commanding 18-5 advantage.

Baskets by Carsyn Clark and Hope Newell closed the gap somewhat, but the 'Cats went into the half up 12 at 23-11.

Christopher exploded offensively in the third quarter, tallying 22 points for a commanding 45-15 lead, resulting in a running clock for the fourth quarter.

McKensie Jackson, Hargrove and Jessica Gordon each collected five points in the third stanza. Van Hoorebeke had four and Crain added three.

Not to be overlooked was a suffocating man-to-man defense that would switch to traps in the half court. Christopher held Johnston City's offense to only 11 first-half points and only six more points in the second half.

First-year Bearcats coach Hayden Carter said the victory begins and ends with the defensive effort.

"I thought the girls worked really hard tonight on the defensive end," he said. "Anytime you can hold a team to 17 points for the game, you are doing something right on defense. We also get a lot of points off our defense."

Hargrove paced the Christopher offense with 19 points. VanHoorebeke followed with 11 points. Crain checked in with seven. Jackson and Gordon had five each.

"We're trying to build some confidence around Amiah," Carter said. "And I thought we accomplished that tonight. Emily (VanHoorebeke) shot the ball very well. It's good to see her enjoy success after all her hard work."

The Indians were led by Clark's six points. Moake followed with five. Johnston City will host Sesser-Valier/Waltonville on Thursday. Christopher will travel to Wayne City on Thursday.

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