Emmanuel captures 5th state title

Members of the Emmanuel Christian School state champion basketball team are (front row, from left) Japeth Niccum, Jack Niccum, Aaron Necessary, Preston Ritzema; head coach Jeff Miller (back row, from left), Collin Gouvan, Brogan Templin, Levi Hinds, JC Frank, Riley Miller and coach Merrill Templin. Photo provided

Emmanuel Christian School won its fifth straight championship in the Indiana Association of Christian Schools state basketball tourney.

Emmanuel, which entered the season as the No.1 seed, began competition on Friday, Feb. 22.

In the first game Emmanuel played Heritage Hall of Muncie.  This was an easy win with the final score being 58-20.  Preston Ritzema had 14 points, JC Frank 12 points and Jack Niccum 10 points.

Cornerstone of Indianapolis played Fishers to advance to the championship game.  Cornerstone won big to set up the third meeting between Emmanuel and Cornerstone.  Emmanuel had won the two regular season meetings, but the games were close.

The championship game on Saturday was tight from the start and at the end of the first quarter it was 20-17 with Emmanuel on top.

During the second quarter Cornerstone lit it up and ran out to a 12-point lead, 37-25.  It was then that Emmanuel went on a 15-0 run to end the first half with a 41-37 lead. 

Emmanuel’s Ritzema was in foul trouble, picking up three in the first half.

Cornerstone was led by senior Durango Payne, who scored 33 points in the championship game.  With 5 minutes left in the game Payne was called for a charging foul, picking up his fifth foul of the game.

Emmanuel went on to win 75-63. 

Ritzema scored 20 points, Riley Miller had 19 points and Frank had 18 points. 

Emmanuel will lose only one senior this year.

Posted on 2019 Mar 05