CCA cagers’ late rally not enough to catch Concord for conference crown

CHESTERTOWN — Sophomore John Stoltzfus scored eight of his team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter to fuel a rally that fell just short Feb. 24 in Chestertown Christian Academy’s bid for its first conference championship in boys basketball since 1996.

Trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, tournament host CCA closed the game on a 19-13 run but could not come all the way back against Concord Christian Academy of Wilmington, Delaware.

The final score in the Delaware Valley Christian Athletic Conference title game was 48-45.

Concord (9-5) and CCA (12-3) split their home-and-away series during the regular season — CCA winning at home, 47-41, on Feb. 13 and Concord winning at home, 38-34, on Jan. 8.

In the rubber match March 24, Concord sophomore guard Carlin Hollis, who was named the game’s MVP, led all players with 21 points.

Hollis’ 10 points in the third quarter helped the Minutemen pull ahead, 35-26, after trailing by a point at intermission.

Concord regained the lead for good, 19-18, on a pair of Hollis free throws just 18 seconds into the second half.

The Minutemen asserted themselves with a flurry of 13 unanswered points to open the second half, extending their lead to 30-18 with 3:19 to play in the third quarter.

Hollis’ underhand layup at the 3:41 mark gave Concord its first double-digit lead, 28-18.

After a CCA field goal at 3:12, freshman guard Gabriel Franco knocked down his second 3-pointer of the quarter and Hollis made another basket to give Concord its largest lead of the afternoon, 35-20, with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Then it was the Patriots’ turn.

They scored the next six points in the span of 40 seconds, part of a larger 10-0 run — sophomore Craig Clark (12 points) following his own miss, senior Phil Clark (six points) going up strong with an offensive rebound and Stoltzfus with just his second field goal of the game — to reduce the deficit to single digits, 35-26, with 6 seconds to play in the third quarter.

CCA knocked down the first two field goals of the final frame to close to 35-30 while keeping Concord off the board for the opening 1:11.

But back-to-back buckets from freshman forward Kofi Wemyss (five points) and Franco (12 points) on a second-chance shot pushed the Minutemen’s lead back out to nine points, 41-32, with five minutes and change remaining.

Stoltzfus and Concord traded baskets over the next several possessions, with the CCA sophomore scoring six points to chip away at the deficit, 45-38, after he followed his own miss with 2:57 to play.

A pair of Hollis free throws were negated by a Stoltzfus jumper to keep it a seven-point game, 47-40, at the 2:12 mark.

Brian Lloyd (eight points) glided in with a fast-break layup to cut further into Concord’s lead, 47-42, with 1:35 showing on the clock.

Hollis scored what would prove to be the Minutemen’s final point, the back end of a two-shot foul, for a 48-42 lead with 1:29 to go.

It was a high-energy, fast-paced, frantic finish.

The Patriots closed to 48-44 on a pair of Craig Clark free throws with 36 seconds to play — this was Hollis’ fifth foul and he went to the bench.

Concord went 0-for-2 from the stripe on its next trip down the court, and CCA controlled the rebound on the second miss.

The Patriots called time-out with 23 seconds to play, and trailing by four points. On the restart, they had two quality looks at the basket but missed them both.

After turning the ball over with 19 seconds remaining, Concord intentionally fouled Craig Clark. He hit the first shot, making it 48-45, but missed the second.

On the ensuing possession, Concord went 0-for-2 again from the free-throw line and CCA grabbed the rebound on the second miss.

The Patriots attempted two 3-pointers over the final 12 seconds, but neither shot fell. Lloyd’s shot from outside the arc glanced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

CCA trailed for almost the entire first half.

After Phil Clark’s basket with 1 minute, 12 seconds elapsed leveled the score at 2-2, a traditional three-point play by Wemyss gave Concord the lead right up until the final 66 seconds of the first half.

Hollis and Keavon Bailey (eight points) each scored four points in the opening frame as the Minutemen built a modest 13-7 lead.

Concord took its largest lead of the half at 17-8 with 4:01 to go before intermission.

Then it was the Patriots’ turn. They scored the last 10 points of the half, spurred on by Lloyd’s deep three with just over three minutes to play. 

Lloyd’s layup with 1:42 to go was the Patriots’ only other field goal of the second quarter. 

Stoltzfus, Nathan Frain (six points) and Craig Clark collectively went 6-of-10 from the stripe. Clark made three free throws in a row, the last with only 14 seconds remaining in the half, to give the Patriots their first and only lead of the game at 18-17.

NOTES: In the semifinals on Feb. 22, Chestertown Christian Academy eliminated visiting Fairwinds Christian, 67-63, while Concord advanced with a 41-32 victory over visiting Greenwood Mennonite.

Any related posts will be listed here:

Skip to content