JOPLIN, Mo. — 2017 has been very good so far to Central Christian College’s men’s basketball team.
Starting with the rousing last-second victory over Bethany to get them on their way, the Tigers are now 4-0 in January after Tuesday’s 94-62 rout of Ozark Christian College.
Central is now 12-5, including 11-2 over its last 13 games.
“I feel like we are starting to understand each other's value to one another and we are benefiting as a group because of it,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “We are looking forward to the next two days of practice to prepare for the start of conference play this weekend."
The Tigers rolled behind 21 points by Jubril Osagie, while Ernest Burton (19), Daniel Nwosuh (13) and Kendric Warren (12) were in double figures. Warren finished with a double-double as he ripped down 15 rebounds.
“We were anchored tonight by our frontline guys,” Romero said. “Sometimes those guys (Warren, Osagie and Steve Kuminga) don't get enough mention on how important they are to our success. Early on, I thought we were lazy closing out the basketball and soft on the boards, as the game went on we improved. Anytime, you can go on the road and win, we will celebrate it."
The Tigers begin AII play on Friday when they host Northern New Mexico and then have Johnson and Wales here Saturday.
CCC (94) — Osagie 21, Burton 19, Nwosuh 13, Warren 12, Gholston 8, Kuminga 8, Clayborn 6, Orieh 3, Calhoune 2, King 2.
Ozark Christian (62) — Harmon 2, D. Allmoslecher 12, Atkinson 2, Mayes 17, H. Allmoslecher 3, Middleton 2, Clark 6, Hand 12, Turk 4, Moore 2.
• CENTRAL WOMEN 79, OZARK CHRISTIAN 27 — The Tiger women moved past the .500 mark on the year with the easy rout.
CCC is now 8-7 with tough foes Northern New Mexico and Johnson and Wales at Alexander Arena on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Alexa Gonzales, who didn’t play before Christmas, has been a nice addition during the second half with 21 points. Kelsey Grimaldo scored 16, Ridglea Hearne had 14 and Abbie Banks had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Rebekah Glessner and Haylee Floyd dominated the glass with 14 and 13 boards, respectively.
“To say we started off slow tonight would be the understatement of the century" CCC head coach Chris Honeck said. “But for as poorly as we played in the first half, we played really well in the second half. I was very pleased with our defensive intensity in the second half and thought we rebounded the ball as well as we have all season. We started out with a little run to open the half, and that helped everybody relax. From there, it was just a matter to continuing to execute."
Central (79) — Floyd 5, Glessner 8, Grimaldo 16, Banks 12, Hearne 14, Gonzales 21, Redenbaugh 3.
Ozark Christian (27) — Hilton 12, Dressler 8, Green 2, Ratliff 3, Evans 2.