Ellwood comes up shortPublished 10:58pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012
MONTGOMERY — A rematch of last year’s AISA Class 1A state title game between the Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles and Crenshaw Christian Academy Cougars determined who would advance to this year’s championship game.
But this time it was the Cougars who came out on top, as they defeated the defending state champion Eagles 55-46 in the AISA Final Four at Huntingdon College’s Catherine Dixon Roland Arena on Tuesday.
Steven Hendrieth, head coach of the Eagles (18-8), said he’s proud of his team’s effort and the season as a whole despite the tough loss.
“It’s been a challenge, but I’m proud of where we ended up even though we didn’t end up on top,” Hendrieth said. “The guys played hard. I can’t be mad about a lack of intensity because we did play hard. We just came up a little short.”
Both teams battled back and forth in the first half, as Ellwood held a 25-24 lead late in the second quarter, but Crenshaw closed the quarter strong to take a 28-26 lead into halftime.
Crenshaw extended its lead to eight points late in the third, but Ellwood senior Trevoris Sheppard hit a shot in the lane to bring the Eagles closer at 40-34 heading into the final quarter.
But Crenshaw maintained the momentum, scoring the first ten points of the fourth quarter to go up 50-34 with 3:08 remaining.