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Bulldogs hammer Portland, 93-37

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Cornerstone preps for KCAA postseason

By Todd Martin

The Cornerstone Christian Academy boys’ basketball team is rolling through the end of its regular season.

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The Bulldogs hammered visiting Portland Christian, 93-37, Tuesday to push their winning streak to five games and their record to 16-5.

In fact, the Bulldogs are so hot they’ve won the past three games by an average of 52.7 points.

“The thing I like about this team is its versatility,” first-year Coach Chris Armstrong said. “We have a lot of guys with size and length that can play different spots.”

And on Tuesday the team was even without its 6-foot-3 point guard, Joshua Karsner.

“We had some guys in different positions, but that gave us a chance to move guys around and see what they can do,” Armstrong said.

James Hamilton moved from shooting guard to point, Patrick Maurer slid into the second guard spot, and Jesse Benson helped lead the break from a forward position.

“We passed the ball well [Tuesday],” Armstrong said. “I thought we did a decent job taking care of the ball and making the extra pass. Jesse was a big distributor for us. He can get to the rim, but I thought he did a great job of getting inside and then finding that open shooter.”

The Bulldogs can also count on the low post with 6-7 Josiah Karsner.

“I thought we really played hard tonight and did a lot of good things,” Armstrong said.

The Bulldogs used their pressure defense to turn several turnovers into easy baskets, something that will be a key as Cornerstone heads into the KCAA playoffs later this month.

“The most important things for us will be taking care of the ball and taking good shots,” Armstrong said. “Our defense helps us do both of those things.”

Cornerstone held Portland Christian scoreless for the first six minutes of the game, racing out to a 22-0 lead. That ballooned to 49-25 at halftime and 73-29 at the end of third.

Cornerstone will host the KCAA 3rd Region Tournament on Feb. 27-28, and Armstrong said he likes his team’s chances.

“I think the team has really come together this year,” he said. “The one area we’re still working the most on is defense. I think last year they played mostly zone, and we’ve switched to man-to-man this year. So we still have a way to go in learning the finer points of man-to-man.

“But we’re right there at the top of the KCAA, I think. North Hardin Christian beat us twice, but we beat them on a neutral court the last time we played. Bethel is pretty good, with a couple of foreign exchange students. I think the three of us are right there at the top.”