BY JEFF FALK
YORK – Ultimately, all the New Covenant Christian School boys’ basketball program seeks is respect, acceptance. And not only have they figured out a pretty good way to attain it, it would seem that the Flames are well on their way towards it.
On Tuesday night, New Covenant’s pilgrimage towards validation – for its players, its school and Christian basketball in general – picked up speed, with a 46-33 triumph at the Christian School of York. After some uneven play over the first half, the Flames performed much better over the second 16 minutes of action, a fact manifested through a defense which yielded a mere 13 second-half points.
On the heels of a two-win 2013-14 campaign, the victory lifted the Flames to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the West Division of the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference. New Covenant, which became a PIAA-sanctioned school three years ago, currently stands sixth in the latest District Three Class A power rankings.
The setback dropped Christian School of York to 3-10 on the season and 2-4 in the CCAC.
“I like it,” said New Covenant rookie head coach Jon Klohr of being a member of the PIAA. “It’s going to help develop a better basketball program in our school, and it’s going to help our school. Sometimes we go into games small, but it helps us to improve our bench. I think it has helped us get stronger.
“Our goal is to make our conference playoffs and districts,” continued Klohr. “If we get there, we’ll take it one game at a time, do our best and try to be competitive. For this team, they’ve never seen the CCAC playoffs or districts. We’re hoping to turn it into a desire. We have good ball players. Hopefully the expectations of districts will help spur them on.”
On this particular evening, the Flames’ defense held the Crusaders scoreless for two key stretches of the game.
The first came right out of the second-half locker room and extended for a period of 4:13 into the third quarter. The resulting 8-0 run, which was fronted by a pair of C. J. Kornhaus three-pointers and a follow-up from Sam Schaetzle, turned a one-point edge into a 29-20 led.
The second lasted for a 6:48 span of the fourth quarter, and helped New Covenant put the game away. Zach Burns tallied a pair of buckets, Schaetzle scored on a drive, Cody Snyder converted a steal into a lay-in and Kornhaus drained a couple of foul shots, as the Flames opened a 41-28 advantage with 1:35 to play.
“We didn’t play up to our best ability tonight,” said Klohr, whose charges were coming off a 72-65 home loss to Hershey Christian. “Maybe it was because last night was such a high intensity game. But we were expecting to win. We had that thought.
“I thought our close-out defense played pretty well,” added Klohr. “We played a 2-3 zone, and for the most part, we did a pretty good job in it. And we used a full-court press to cause some turnovers.”
Kornhaus, who nailed seven-of-eight charity tosses in the waning moments, poured in a game-high 22 points. Meanwhile, Burns worked inside for an additional 12 points.
New Covenant limited the Christian School of York to just six two-point field goals.
“I think the season’s going well,” said Klohr. “We’re coaching for the first time this year. We didn’t know what to expect. We’re big on defense and rebounding. And our guys share the ball pretty well.
“In my own mind, not knowing what to expect, my first thought was: ‘It would be nice to have a .500 season’,” Klohr continued. “There’s no selfishness, no one-man-team thing. That’s when the season took off.”
New Covenant took a 21-20 lead to the intermission, thanks to two in-close buckets by Burns to close out the first half. The Flames had trailed by as much as 15-11 and 17-13 in the second period.
“The biggest thing was our energy tonight,” said Klohr. “York came out fired up, and then our guys got a little side-stepped.
“Oh yeah, we played much better in the second half,” added Klohr. “We were hitting our shots. We penetrated the ball and we distributed the ball.”
The Crusaders enjoyed an early, modest lead of 8-5, before Kornhaus stroked his first of three trifectas of the evening. But the Flames managed only a pair of Snyder free throws over the first 3:55 of the second stanza.
“I think it’s good for the school and good for the morale,” said Klohr of his team’s success. “It’s good for the players.
“As a Christian school, we expect our players to be men of integrity,” Klohr concluded. “We encourage their faith in Jesus Christ to be strong. We want them to have a life in Christ. I think that’s just as important as winning.”
New Covenant Christian (46)
New Covenant Christian
Christian School of York
|West Shore Christian||5-1||10-2|
|New Covenant Christian||5-1||7-4|
|Christian School of York||2-4||3-10|
New Covenant Christian School 2014-15 Results
|7:30 PM||W 57-52|
Christian School of York
|7:30 PM||W 58-36|
|6:00 PM||W 69-16|
|7:30 PM||W 46-37|
|8:00 PM||W 71-33|
|5:30 PM||L 35-58|
|5:30 PM||L 44-65|
West Shore Christian
|7:00 PM||L 46-81|
|7:30 PM||W 67-63|
|7:00 PM||L 65-72|
@Christian School of York
|7:30 PM||W 46-33|
Class A Power Rankings
A School W L T Rating
1 Halifax Area 9 2 0 .618643
2 Hilda Goodling Impact Academy 4 4 0 .569335
3 West Shore Christian Academy 8 2 0 .544623
4 Carson Long Military Academy 6 2 0 .451110
5 Greenwood 6 6 0 .44573
6 New Covenant Christian School 6 3 0 .429691
7 Lancaster County Christian 7 4 0 .428765
8 Lititz Christian School 7 4 0 .420862
9 Millersburg Area 6 7 0 .417730
10 Lancaster Country Day School 6 5 0 .413612
11 High Point Baptist Academy 4 7 0 .371046
12 Veritas Academy 6 4 0 .364004
13 Harrisburg Christian School 7 6 0 .352348
14 Harrisburg Academy 5 6 0 .346879
15 Mount Calvary Christian School 6 6 0 .337426
16 Lebanon Catholic School 3 11 0 .334463
17 Conestoga Christian School 4 5 0 .323423
18 Dayspring Christian Academy 4 8 0 .275669
19 Christian School Of York 3 9 0 .230772
20 York Country Day School 2 5 0 .217979
21 Covenant Christian Academy 2 9 0 .202304
22 Berks Christian 0 7 0 .145946
23 Hershey Christian 0 8 0 .140447