By Joshua Stevens
Contributions from Conner TenHove, Joey Morlan and Grant Zawadski, allowed Cedarville to handle Davis & Elkins 88-69 on Thursday as the Yellow Jackets try to end their season on a high note.
TenHove had 21 points, Morlan scored 19 off the bench and Zawadski contributed 18 points and eight assists as the Jackets led by as many as 21 points to win in front of their home crowd.
“We got out to a hot start,” TenHove said. “We had a lot of guys contribute, which is big for us.”
The full-court press was a huge part of the game plan for the Jackets (12-14, 7-12 G-MAC), and it proved to be effective. The Senators (7-18, 5-14 GMAC) were unable to get good looks most of the night thanks to the press and the Jackets’ high energy on defense. The Jackets forced 16 turnovers and had 22 points off those turnovers.
While the defense played a big part in the victory, the Jackets were also able to get the ball inside to TenHove, who made 10 of 14 shots.
“I was able to get going early, it was a good first half,” TenHove said.
Once the Senators started to play TenHove tough down low, the 3-point game opened up for the Jackets. Morlan hit three shots from behind the arc late in the first half and finished the game 6-of-12, all of his shots coming from outside. The Jackets shot 54 percent as a team on the night.
Due to the press and multiple contributors from the Jackets on offense, the Senators found themselves down big. However, the Senators found a little bit of life late in the second half as they cut the lead down to nine with seven minutes left. But the Jackets continued to light it up from outside. They quickly put the lead back up to as many as 19 and cruised to the win.
After being eliminated from the conference tournament on Saturday, the Jackets refused to give up on the season. Coach Pat Estepp praised the toughness on the team, and pointed out that to him and his guys, basketball is a way to glorify God.
“If basketball is an act of worship, you have a chance to go out and prove that,” Estepp said. “I was most proud of that. They came out with nothing on the line, and played really hard, really unselfish, and played just like they had everything on the line. I know that they honored God tonight, and that was an act of worship. It was really cool to see.”
The Jackets end their season on Saturday at home against Alderson Broaddus.
“We’re looking forward to Saturday,” TenHove said. “We’re going to keep going hard in that game no matter what happens.”
Joshua Stevens is a sophomore journalism major and sports writer for Cedars. He enjoys rooting for the Tennessee Titans and listening to old-school music.