Leiter, Knights start tourney well in N.C.

Published 7:52 pm Saturday, January 3, 2015

Senior guard/forward Nathan Leiter led a strong effort by the Suffolk Christian Academy boys’ basketball team on Friday that resulted in a 68-53 defeat of Bethel Christian School in the Eagles Classic, a New Year’s Invitational Tournament.

“I thought we did pretty well. We had three players in double digits, and Nathan had a triple-double,” SCA coach Terry Leiter said. “That was pretty exciting for him.”

It was the first triple-double of Leiter’s career as he generated 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

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Highlighting what accounted for the win, Coach Leiter said, “I think we had good ball rotation,” and this movement was paired with good spacing that stretched the defense.

These elements played a role in Nathan Leiter being able to have a career game. He had lots of options when he had the ball.

“The key to him getting that many assists is his teammates were moving to the basket and making those cuts to the basket in the open spots,” Coach Leiter said.

Knights junior guard Michael Cornette had 17 points and helped stretch the defense with his strong perimeter shooting, hitting three three-pointers. Junior forward/guard Steven Effler, back from injury, had 16 points.

Coach Leiter said most of his son’s assists that went to Effler happened when Nathan was driving to the basket and Effler drove in on an off-angle.

Sophomore forward/center Matthew Shaffer also converted on Leiter’s passing and had five points.

Suffolk Christian achieved a 35-21 halftime lead, and with the clock in its favor during the second half, it made the Bethel Christian defense work hard.

“They closed the gap on us a little bit once we started subbing,” Coach Leiter said, but was pleased that he “got a chance to play a lot of the bench.”

The Knights are still without starting junior center Barton Metzgar, due to injury, and freshman guard Patrick Driggers was out of town on Friday.

Suffolk Christian (4-9, 1-3) played again in the Eagles Classic on Saturday afternoon and will resume conference play on Tuesday when it visits Veritas Christian Academy.