Crusaders sweep guests in new home

Published 10:44 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Baptist opened its home basketball season on Tuesday evening at a new home. Both Crusader varsity squads defeated Voice of the Believers at Liberty Baptist Church’s gym.

The Lady Crusaders used a decided height and age advantage over Voice of the Believers and sister guards Morgan and Meredith Overton combined for 20 points as First Baptist won 45-33.

First Baptist’s boys team won its season opener two weeks ago at Chesapeake Bay. The Crusaders led throughout the second half on Tuesday but had to fend off a big comeback attempt by Voice of the Believers for a 64-51 win.

After a slow, or more actually, a hectic, start to the girls game, First Baptist steadily built a lead throughout the first half.

A backwards three-point play, with Victoria Carr making 1-of-2 at the line and Becca Ballance grabbing the rebound and scoring on Carr’s miss made it 19-6 First Baptist with just under four minutes left in the half. The Lady Crusaders outrebounded the visitors 33-7 in the first half.

Meredith Overton came off the bench and led First Baptist with eight points in the half. First Baptist led 29-9 at the half.

Voice of the Believers put together a couple runs in the second half. Voice of the Believers scored three straight buckets in the first 1:10 of the half to make it 29-15 First Baptist.

Morgan Overton took up the scoring slack to answer, scoring eight of her team-high 12 points in the second half.

With Voice of the Believers within nine midway through the fourth period, Carr got a rebound on the defensive end, drove the length of the court and finished with a lay-up.

On First Baptist’s next possession, Morgan Overton got to the line after fighting for a rebound. Overton made both shots, boosting First Baptist’s lead to 43-30 with 3:18 left.

Forward Megan Farmer had six points and 13 rebounds. Ballance, at center, finished with six points and 12 rebounds. It wasn’t just First Baptist’s post players though who worked hard inside. Morgan Overton also had 11 rebounds. Carr had an excellent all-around game with nine points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

“I’m happy with our teamwork and that we played everyone. Everyone played hard and played together,” said First Baptist head coach Kelli Overton.

Thanks to a fast start by Voice of the Believers, the boys game was a tougher test for the Crusaders.

First Baptist trailed 13-8 early in the second quarter. Turnovers were a problem throughout the game for First Baptist as Voice of the Believers had quick players at all five positions.

With forwards Pete Twisdale and Colby Toler combining for nine straight points, the Crusaders moved ahead 17-15 a few minutes before halftime. The Crusaders led 24-20 at the half.

In the third period, First Baptist went on a 12-2 run with everyone being in on the scoring. Wes Hughes banked in a 16-foot jumper to make it 32-26 First Baptist and eighth-grade guard Justice Fuller drove from the right wing to the hoop for a lay-up to take the Crusader lead to 38-26.

The two constants for the Crusaders through were Twisdale and Toler. Toler finished the night with 11 points and 20 rebounds. Twisdale led the Crusaders with 19 points along with 11 rebounds.

Voice of the Believers rallied all the way back to within a 44-43 Crusader lead with 6:16 left. Fuller made a pair of free throws and Twisdale scored on a fast-break lay-up to switch the momentum.

A couple minutes later, Toler scored on a nice move on the right block and Twisdale followed with a steal that he turned into a fast break and a jumper for a 58-48 lead.

Fuller added 13 points and Ben Joslin had 12 rebounds for the Crusaders.

Both First Baptist teams will be back in action on Thursday evening at Portsmouth Christian. The girls game is set for 6 p.m.