ELYRIA — Both teams were in the holiday mood — giving, giving, giving — during the opening game Thursday of the inaugural Open Door Christmas Classic.
Christian Community received more gifts, however, and came away with a 38-21 victory over Kingsway Christian. The Warriors will meet Open Door, which beat First Baptist 40-26 in the nightcap, in Saturday’s championship game.
Kingsway Christian turned the ball over a whopping 39 times — 24 in the first half — but the Warriors were also in the giving mood, committing 33 turnovers.
Christian Community (2-3) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead as Kingsway Christian (1-4) had five turnovers in its first seven possessions and the Warriors were never threatened in the entire game.
But despite the one-sided score, Christian Community had troubles of its own. Besides their 33 giveaways, the Warriors only shot 26 percent from the field (17-of-65) and missed their lone three-point attempt. They almost made a goal for Kingsway as a player took an inbound pass from under the basket, turned and dribbled to the opposite goal. But the attempt was nullified by an over-and-back turnover called by the officials.
Kingsway Christian was even more inaccurate from the field, sinking just 13 percent (8-of-58) and missing its two three-point attempts.
Rebecca Willis, a 5-foot-9 junior, led both teams in scoring with 14 points, all coming in the first half.
“Our turnovers were mostly caused by us not having a general sense of what’s going on all over the court,” she said. “It’s like having horse blinders on. We can do better at that.
“As for my game I was not satisfied, but I’m never really satisfied after any game because I always aim to improve.”
Willis, who averages 20 points a game, had a season high of 32 against Heritage Christian.
“I liked our energy tonight going for loose balls and tying up players,” Christian Community coach Jesse Boone said. “I also liked our intensity on defense.
“On all our turnovers, part of that was we did a lot of substituting and had girls playing in spots they never played before. Our goal was to get into the championship game and we made that.”
Boone said his team is looking forward to playing Open Door in the title game because the Warriors lost to the Patriots earlier in the season in a tight 43-38 game.
Kingsway Christian coach Jay Winans wasn’t blaming the turnovers for the loss.
“(Christian Community’s) defense was very good,” he said. “That was the story of the game. The press has bothered us at times in other games, but normally we don’t turn the ball over like we did tonight. Also, we are shooting 50 percent in three-point attempts but they just wouldn’t go in tonight even though we had some good looks.”
Christian Community 38, Kingsway 21
KINGSWAY CHRISTIAN (21): Desiree Hargrove 3-2-8, Brittany Besancon 2-2-6, Ellie Kuhns 2-1-5, Ashley Mast 1-0-2, Krissy Troyer 0-0-0, Aaleyah Hargrove 0-0-0, Lindsay Davidson 0-0-0. Totals 8-5-21.
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (38): Rebecca Willis 6-2-14, Anna Phail 4-0-8, Mich-El-la Bailey 3-1-7, Emily Doane 2-0-4, Makayla Varisco 1-1-3, Angelique Boey 1-0-2, Alayna Doeringer 0-0-0, Gabe Moorman 0-0-0, Sarah Becker 0-0-0. Totals 17-4-38.
Kingsway Christian 6 6 2 7 — 21
Christian Community 12 8 10 8 — 38
Three point goals: Kingsway 0-2 (0 percent), Christian Community 0-1 (0 percent); Field goals: Kingsway 8-58 (13 percent), Christian Community 17-65 (26 percent); Free throws: Kingsway 5-19 (26 percent), Christian Community 4-9 (44 percent); Rebounds: Kingsway 51 (Besancon 14, Desiree Hargrove 13), Christian Community 55 (Bailey 13, Phail 8); Total fouls: Kingsway 4, Christian Community 9.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.